To avail advanced technical finishing services, two types of nickel plating services are offered, electrolytic and electroless nickel plating services. Electroless nickel plating services offer more advantages than traditional electrolytic nickel plating services. The former offers more corrosion resistance, superior hardness and durability.
What kind of plating is required depends upon the type of substrate and the type of nickel plating process. Electroless nickel plating process is also known as autocatalytic coating. Unlike electrolytic, it does not require an electric charge to start a chemical reaction. It is because phosphorus is used as a chemical reducing agent.
Differences between the plating processes
- Strong support – Electroless plating provides stronger support against wear and tear.
- Thickness – Autocatalytic coating produces more thickness around corners and edges. Though both the processes result in the same products, i.e. a thin layer of nickel deposited on the surface.
- Material – Both the processes are different. In electrolytic plating process, it uses 100% nickel or other material such as copper. Whereas, autocatalytic coating process uses phosphorus.
- Conductivity– Electrolytic plating process offers higher conductivity due to higher percentage of nickel.
- Cost-effectiveness – Electrolytic is less expensive in comparison to electroless nickel plating process. The process delivers higher production volumes in shorter turnaround times.
- Versatility – Electroless nickel plating process offers more versatility than electrolytic plating process.
Tips for an effective plating process
- Cleaning the surface – The first step is to clean the surface properly before applying nickel.
- Chemical bath – For electrolytic process, substrate placed in charged chemical bath, whereas substrate is placed in positively charged chemical bath dissolved with nickel and phosphorus.
- Density determination – the density determination depends upon the amount of time nickel is submerged in the bath.
- Traditional vs. modern plating method – Both methods have their own advantages, it depends upon situations which method would work for you.