Electroless nickel (EN) is not a new product in most industries. It’s been used for many different applications since its development in the 1950’s. With the introduction of functional, consistent electroless nickel coatings, and with the increased concerns for equipment costs and reliability, this alloy is being considered for numerous uses today. Currently, EN coatings are one of the fastest growing segments of the metal finishing industry.
Electroless Nickel Plating, in contrast to conventional plating, does not use electric current to produce a deposit, but rather operates chemically. The electroless process, also called autocatalytic deposition, deposits a uniform coating regardless of the shape or surface of the part, thus overcoming the difficulty of uniformly plating irregularly shaped parts or components.
An electroless plating solution produces a deposit wherever it contacts a properly prepared surface and without the need for conforming anodes. The plater has precise control over deposit thickness simply by controlling the immersion time since the chemically reduced bath maintains a uniform deposition rate. Such uniformity and control provide a variety of choices for the design engineer in selecting plated finishes for his products and for perhaps rebuilding a worn surface.