Nickel Plating: The Basics

Nickel Plating, or nickel electroplate, is one of the oldest forms of protective and decorative electro-deposited procedures involving metallic coatings. It is frequently used on base metals to provide corrosion protection and improve the appearance of the items treated. Today the process has become increasingly implemented on a variety of products from decorative applications to high reliability electronic components.

What Metals Commonly Receive Nickel Plating?

Most base metals can, and are, nickel plated. Typical metals would include all types of steels, copper alloys, nickel-iron alloys, and refractory metals like molybdenum, copper-molybedenum, and copper-tungsten. Nickel plating is commonly employed by PEP General Metal Finishing on most base material.

What Will Affect the Effectiveness of Nickel Plating?

At PEP General Metal Finishing, we thoroughly understand that electrodeposits of nickel possess a wide variety of properties. How it is implemented will depend on a diverse number of characteristics including:

  • The composition of the plating bath
  • The operating conditions of the chemistry
  • The metal to undergo nickel plating

As a result, the overall process is often classified according to the desired application — that being decorative General Purpose or functional Engineered Coatings.

Nickel plating is a popular and useful process done with regularity at our company facilities. We offer matte, semi-bright, and bright finishes as both a final deposit and as a preplate for other metals. Appearance is accomplished through the specific chemical composition utilized in the chemistry. It is also to be noted by those who are considering nickel plating that the metal or material does require some preparation before undergoing the plating procedure. This may include the likes of etching, electropolishing, and descaling.

What Are Common Uses for Nickel Plating?

When it comes to nickel plating, the choice of this process is based on more than a singular function. It is used to:

  • Provide increased anti-corrosive resistance properties
  • Increased wearability of end product
  • Serve as a barrier coat for subsequent coating deposits
  • Provide a decorative appearance due to its ability to level material imperfections
  • Provide a low stressed deposit for resizing parts

We welcome the opportunity to work with you on your nickel electroplating needs.