Jan 09

Electroless Nickel Plating for Rutherford Appleton Laboratories

Rutherford Appleton Laboratories approached Nitec with the prospect of nickel plating a laboratory vacuum chamber. As specialists in the process of electroless nickel plating, the staff at Nitec gladly took on the project.

Thousands of scientists and engineers have used the lab to carry out their research in lots of areas, including astronomy, physics and light sources. With such important research in mind, electroless nickel plating specialists Nitec had to meet all the relevant regulations in order to comply with the high standards requested by Rutherford Laboratories.

The equipment requiring surface treatment was a vacuum chamber, used by the laboratory to carry out tests and experiments  The iron from the chamber walls was a concern for Rutherford Laboratories, as it could affect the results of tests. The lasers which are used in experiments such as these actually had the power to burn through the paint, therefore the chamber needed to be coated with a thin layer of electroless nickel to prevent this happening.

Nitec have a large amount of experience in plating unusually shaped objects and equipment. The expert staff at Nitec had to manufacture tanks to fit each part of the vacuum chamber, as the chamber came in several sections. Some of the parts weighed more than 20 tonnes.

The chamber itself was built like a small room, and had many portals, doors and windows which presented Nitec with the problem of gas traps formed by the recesses. Therefore, the chamber itself, which was originally going to be used as the plating tank and filled with the electroless nickel plating solution, had to be sheeted over and internally shot blasted.

Blanking plates were made for each section of the chamber, and each one was fitted with an air pipe which fed up and outside the chamber in order to remove any excess solution and gas. This process ensured that the vacuum chamber was completely covered by the electroless nickel coating, meeting the high standards of quality required by the laboratory in order for all tests and experiments to be accurate and successful.

To find out more about how Nitec can help your business with their electroless nickel plating needs, even if the object is particularly large or unusually shaped, why not visit our website and take a look at the projects we have embarked upon recently. If you would like to speak to one of the electroless nickel plating experts at Nitec, don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on 44 (0)845 224 3571.