Metal Technology

Metal Finishing for Steel Tubes & Pumps

Electroless nickel plating (ENP) is one of the methods used to finish steel tubes and pumps. Businesses rely on industrial coating services to protect their metal surfaces from corrosion, enhance mechanical properties, and improve the integrity of the overall structure of which the tubes and pumps will be a part. 

Before ENP, people would use electrolytic plating to deposit nickel — an element known for its durability and versatility — onto substrates. However, it often led to irregular thicknesses and coverage. ENP addresses this issue. 

The Process Of ENP

An electroless nickel plating shop wouldn’t need electric current to form a protective nickel coating onto a metal substrate. Instead, what they’d do is leverage an auto-catalytic or chemical deposition process. 

They would prepare a chemical bath solution that contains a reducing agent that causes a reaction with the metal ions to deposit an alloy of nickel and, typically, phosphorus. Once prepared, they would only need to dip the tube or pump into it. 

The Perks Of ENP

Because the metal part is submerged in the solution, a finishing company in Texas that uses ENP will be able to generate an evenly-coated surface. The nickel will follow the object’s geometric shape. The resulting density and thickness will be consistent across the surface. 

To ensure the coating’s quality, the object must be clean of dirt- and debris. Proper preparation of the metal part and the chemical bath is needed to achieve optimal results. 

Apart from the excellent surface finish, ENP offers these advantages:

Less wear and tear. Nickel plating prevents corrosion and other forms of damage in metal substrates. Because ENP produces a consistent thickness, your metal parts will also have improved corrosion resistance. If your pumps and tubes are subjected to atmospheric conditions, extreme temperatures, and other corrosive substances, you will need to coat your metal parts with a protective layer of metal finishing materials. 

Long-lasting adhesion. The auto-catalytic process involved in ENP forms a strong bond between the alloy and the surface coating. Doing this helps prolong the lifespan of the metal pump, tube or nickel coated barrels

Flexibility. Nickel is ideal because it can be applied to many different types of metal surfaces such as copper, steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and titanium. You can also use it on conductive and non-conductive surfaces, regardless of their shape. This kind of flexibility makes Electroless nickel plating the go-to method of several industry players, including those in automotive and aerospace. It is superior to hard chrome plating.

Improved material hardness and lubricance. The nickel-based alloy deposited to steel tubes and pumps enhances their hardness and lubricity. Improving both aspects is especially beneficial if the metal parts are to be used in a stressful and abrasive environment. 

Suitable for bigger objects. Today, you can find an electroless nickel plating shop that can finish the surfaces of objects that are bigger than what is usually coated through hard chrome plating shops in Dallas TX. Not every industrial coating service in Texas can handle large parts. Even if your pump or tube is 40 feet long, Dura-Tech Processes can handle the job.

Reduced electrical costs. As stated, ENP doesn’t call for electrical power. The process is self-sustaining: The chemicals in the bath and the substrates will interact to create an adhesive protective layer. 

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