Dec 21

Use Electroless Nickel Plating to Replace Hard Chrome

There are many advantages to using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to hard chrome.

Hard chrome is a common choice where the hardness and wear resistance of a component are important. The hardness of hard chrome is in the region of 800 – 1100 VHN.

The hard chrome deposit, however, is applied electrolytically. Metal coatings applied electrolytically generally create an uneven coating which may need post plating machining. The difference in coating uniformity between electrolytic and and electroless nickel plating is illustrated in the image below, and the same theory can be applied to hard chrome applied eloctrolytically and electroless nickel plating. Another disadvantage to hard chrome is that it tends to soften with heating.

Electroless nickel deposits form a perfectly uniform coating, unlike hard chrome. Although electroless nickel does not give the same level of hardness, the process of heat treatment can be used to harden it. Some electroless nickel deposits can be harder than 1000 VHN, making the hardness of electroless nickel plating comparable to that of hard chrome.

As well a electroless nickel plating, Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist also specialise in diffused nickel plating finishes, copper plating as a process, shotblasting and heat treatment.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating visit the Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist website.

Dec 19

Quality Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Here at Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist, our staff are thoroughly committed to providing a quality electroless nickel plating service.

All employees at Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are responsible for the making sure that Quality Assurance techniques are applied to their work. They are also responsible for achieving the specified quality levels at all stages of work.

In accordance with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2000, we are committed to following our Quality Assurance Program, which is outlined in our Quality Manual.

Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist is also well equipped for all aspects of quality control and product testing. We have invested in facilities and equipment meaning that the staff at Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist have the ability to carry out non destructive testing for thickness and hardness on components.

Work is regularly processed to the following specifications:

  • Defence Standard 03-5
  • Aerospace Material Specification AMS 2404B
  • US Military Specification MIL-C-26074B
  • International Standard ISO 4527

We are able to tailor numerous in-house specifications in order to meet the customers’ exact requirements. Our policy statements are available to read online by clicking the links below:

  • View Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist’s Quality Policy here.
  • View Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist’s Health and Safety Policy here.
  • View Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist’s Environmental Policy here.
Dec 19

Cheaper Alternatives to Stainless Steel

As specialists in electroless nickel plating, Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are passionate about promoting the advantages of the process over using other metals, such as stainless steel.

Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion, and can therefore be used when the levels of hardness of the metal are important. But using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to stainless steel has many advantages. Mild steel or cast iron with an electroless nickel coating is a much more cost effective way of achieving high levels of hardness and corrosion resistance.

Stainless steel doesn’t corrode, rust or stain easily with water as ordinary steel would do, but despite its name, stainless steel is not actually fully stain proof.  Stainless steel will in fact stain and even corrode in conditions where there are low levels of oxygen, high levels of salt or poor circulation.


Dec 19

How Hard is Electroless Nickel Plating?

As a specialist electroless nickel plating company in Chesterfield, Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are experts in the plating industry. A question that is frequently asked by customers and potential customers alike is ‘Exactly how hard is electroless nickel plating?

Depending on the phosphorus content in the deposit, electroless nickel deposits have hardness values in the range of 450 – 750 VHN. As a rule, the higher the  phosphorus content, the lower the deposited hardness of the electroless nickel.Mild steel with an electroless nickel coating has properties of hardness and corrosion resistance exceeding the benefits offered by stainless steel.

Increasing hardness of electroless nickel using heat treatment

An effective way of increasing the hardness of the electroless nickel coating is by using the process of heat treatment. Heat treatment can increase the hardness of electroless nickel coatings to in excess of 1000 VHN. This makes the nickel deposit hardness on par with hard chrome, with the added advantage of an even coating which will not require any machinery after plating.

Dec 10

Electroless Nickel Plating as an Alternative to Stainless Steel

The electroless nickel plating process is a cost effective solution to coating metals such as mild or stainless steel.

And despite the lower price, electroless nickel coatings still maintain a high level of quality.

Advantages of electroless nickel plating

The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has an even thickness over all surfaces of the component, virtually regardless of its shape. This uniform coating is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defense  healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

How corrosion resistant is electroless nickel?

Electroless nickel is perfect for parts that are regularly exposed to harsh environments such as the marine, oil and gas and defense industries. Nickel plating is very resistant to corrosion and will therefore substantially extend the life of a component. Therefore it can reduce the cost of repair and replacement parts.

How hard is electroless nickel?

When electroless nickel plating is used in association with an appropriate heat treatment, it can be hardened up to 950vhn. Electroless nickel plating is therefore ideal in areas where friction and wear are issues.

Dec 10

Large Capacity Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are leading specialists in the process of electroless nickel plating. 

As a plating company established in 1978, we have developed a wide range of techniques and developed leading technology within the plating industry.

High end plating services, cost effective price

Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are able to provide a high-end nickel plating service at a cost-effective price. We have a total of 5 production lines with a standard lead time of just 5 days. The number of production lines in operation means that our capacity is efficient, our prices reasonable, and our turn around fast.

How big are our electroless nickel plating tanks?

At Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist, we have tanks up to 10 metres in length. In addition to these large tanks, we also have a lifting capacity of up to 20 metric tonnes, meaning that we can plate very large objects with ease.

The size and lifting capacity of the facilities at Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are unique in the UK, as the maximum competitive solution is only 3 metres in length. We can plate parts of all sizes, from small pins to large applications such as oil pipelines.

Our onsite laboratory facilities ensure that all our metal plating processes are closely controlled, maintaining a consistently high level of quality.

Nov 28

The Benefits of Electroless Nickel Plating

The process of electroless nickel plating is ideal for plating engineering components.

Electroless nickel plating creates a uniform coating which prevents corrosion effectively. The deposit formed by electroless nickel plating is based on a chemical reaction, causing the deposit to collect in equal thickness over all the part, regardless of its shape.

This completely uniform coating is a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including those used in defense  healthcare, automotive and aerospace.

The uniform coating of the electroless nickel plating also means that the surface is hard wearing, corrosion resistant and durable.

Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist are also specialists in diffused nickel plating technology, the copper plating process and the process of shotblasting & heat treatment.

For more information about nickel plating services in the UK, take a look at our website.

Nov 22

Electroless Nickel Plating ‘The Spaceman’: Part 2

As a leading UK nickel plating company, we are often approached by customers with special projects that require expert handling. In the last Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist blog post, we described our involvement in electroless nickel plating ‘The Spaceman’ for british artist and metal sculptor David Mach.

The size, surface area and fragility of the sculpture were all important considerations that needed to be addressed by the staff at Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist. The sculpture had been constructed in three parts with an internal support structure.

As specialists in the process of electroless nickel plating, we are used to handling and plating large engineering components. An oversized nickel plating tank was used to nickel plate the sculpture, and the internal support structure of the piece was used for jigging.

By using this method, the fragile exterior of the sculpture was protected and it was subjected to the minimal amount of handling by Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist staff.


When the sculpture had been through the process of nickel plating, a thin lacquer was applied to the surface and then and baked on in the furnace. This process helped to maintain the appearance of the electroless nickel coating while the statue was on show.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating and the way it can be used in art and sculpture, or for more information about our specialist nickel plating services, please read more.

Nov 21

Electroless Nickel Plating ‘The Spaceman’ : Part 1

Here at Electroless Nickel Plating Specialist, we are specialists in electroless nickel plating, we and have lots of experience in metal plating outdoor sculptures.

The size of our nickel plating tanks are unrivaled in the UK and we can plate objects, sculptures and components that other UK nickel plating companies simply wouldn’t be able to.

David Mach is a recent artist that has taken advantage of our nickel plating services. Working primarily in metal, David Mach has produced a number of metal sculptures, and chose the process of nickel plating for his ‘Spaceman’.

‘The Spaceman’ had been made out of wire coat hangers, so the surface was very irregular. Also, the process of welding the hangers together had removed some of the existing zinc coating on them. The process of electroless nickel plating effectively covered the whole of the sculpture, despite the unusual surface texture.

Electroless nickel plating is an affordable solution for sculptures of this size, produces high quality results, and is extremely corrosion and wear resistant.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating, please read more.