Nickel Electroless Plating

in Motorcycle

Nickel plating kits can either use electricity or run without a power source.  Plating kits that use a battery or AC adapter are known as electroplating kits while those that don’t are electroless kits.  Electroless nickel kits rely on a chemical bath that is heated to a certain temperature.

Nickel electroless is able to plate material onto steel directly as well as other materials such as stainless steel, iron, brass, aluminum and copper.  Again, no electricity is necessary to run this type of plating mechanism.  During the submersion process, many types of EN (electroless nickel) solutions will require the temperature be brought to around 190 degrees fahrenheit and the solution will plate the object as thick as is required.  Plating that takes place at this temperature will often times be adequate as a final finish on the material being plated.

Products that use a chemical solution bath at a lower level temperature will typically be used as a primer layer and not as a final finish.  This type of  bath is only room temperature and is meant for plating things that are not able to hold up to the higher temperatures of the regular bath of an normal electroless nickel procedure.  This plating will take place only over a 10 minute period so the plating is not meant to build up very thick over a long period of time.

The standard process is to take a clean and properly degreased piece of material whether it be a car or motorcycle part, for example, and simply place it into the nickel solution bath.  This is how simple it is and there is no attaching of alligator clips or wires as is needed while electroplating.  Electroless plating is very uniform and will complete the plate with a strong, hardened and nice anti-corrosion layer of nickel.  To make the plate thicker the piece should be submerged longer during the higher temperature bath. 

The real benefit of electroless plating over electroplating is that the plate will build up at the same rate over the entire part that is being plated.  This means that regardless of angles, interior or exterior surfaces or whether there is a dent or divot all areas will be plated the same.  As long as the material part being plated is conductive the plate rate will be quite constant and consistent.  Equal coverages is one of the great benefits of using electroless plating and will allow for the advantages of plating with nickel like its ability to reduce friction, avoid wear and tear and lower the rate of deterioration due to harsh climates.

Electroless nickel kits for those plating at home is definitely worth considering.

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Jimmy Alvarez has 17 articles online

Electroless plating with nickel offers uniform plating coverage with great durability and anti-corrosion resistance.  Finding the right plating kit for nickel is an important part of any plating project.

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Nickel Electroless Plating

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This article was published on 2012/03/26