Metal Technology

NiCarb Coating and Other Composites for Electroless Plating

Metals, when not coated, are more prone to corrosion, wear and tear. With electroless nickel plating — a metal finishing method that deposits a layer of nickel alloys like Ni-Carb coating or other composites into a substrate — you can prolong the lifespan of these metals. 

Unlike other coating techniques, electroless nickel coating for barrels, pipes, and other metalwork offers more advantages. These include: 

Longer-lasting adhesion. Thanks to the autocatalytic reaction involved in the process, this coating method provides a stronger bond between the nickel alloy and the metal substrate. 

Improved durability. The layer of nickel alloy can increase the metal’s hardness. Additionally, the coating serves as an effective barrier that protects the substrate from corrosion and damage-inducing elements. Because of enhanced lubricity and ductility, it’s also less prone to breakage or cracking. 

Uniform coating. Electroless nickel plating is applicable to a wide range of metals. And whether you’re coating a substrate with simple or complex geometry, you can achieve an even coating. If restoring a previously coated substrate, you can also use this method to address recesses, grooves, and ridges. 

Common Electroless Nickel Coatings

Looking for metal coatings for pumps and pipes in your plant or machinery? If you want something versatile and durable, choose electroless nickel plating. Apart from the abovementioned benefits, this technique will save you money due to longer life spans of the coated equipment. 

Now, you also must be aware that various electroless nickel coatings exist. These are the following: 

Ni-Carb. Ni-Carb coating is one of the more wear-resistant coatings. It deposits uniform-sized silicon carbide particles in a matrix of 90% nickel and 10% phosphorus. Because of its nickel and silicon carbide component, its hardness makes it an ideal choice for metals that carry heavy loads. However, it can also be used in precision parts like pipe fittings and valves. Other composites apart from silicon carbide include aluminum oxide and diamond. 

Electroless nickel with boron. Containing 0.25 to 6% weight boron, this electroless nickel coating boasts a very high wear resistance. It’s also resistant to heat and has superior conductivity. If you’re looking for something that makes your metal part easy to be welded, this is also a wise choice. Nonetheless, it tends to be more expensive than other specialty coatings because of its boron component (this element is pricier in its pure state). Not all metal coaters in TX do electroless nickel plating. 

Low phosphorus. With 1 to 4% weight phosphorus, low phosphorus electroless nickel plating provides excellent strength and durability. You can certainly benefit from its top-notch corrosion resistance, especially in alkaline environments, and has a high melting point. However, it is pricier than its medium- and high-phosphorus counterparts. 

Medium phosphorus. This coating mix has a 5 to 9% ratio of phosphorus. It’s corrosion-resistant in both alkaline and acidic conditions but has a lower grade of as-plated hardness than low-phosphorus nickel plating. 

High phosphorus. At 10 to 13% ratio of phosphorus, this has the highest concentration of the phosphorus element. As a non-magnetic coating, you can use it for metal substrates that will be exposed to electro-magnetic environments. Apart from better ductility, high thickness, and great stain resistance, it also solders easily. Here also, not all nickel plating shops offer high phosphorous nickel plating. Furthermore, it’s more visually appealing — thanks to its being very polishable.

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