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Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless Nickel is used in numerous industries because of the unique deposit characteristics and the variety of specialized formulations available. Electroless nickel is typically broken down into 5 main categories:Low Phosphorous (1-4%), Mid Phosphorous (5-9%), High Phosphorous (10-12%), Nickel Boron and Composite Electroless Nickel (those containing Teflon, Boron Nitride Particles or Silicone Carbide particles). 

Low Phos electroless nickel plated deposits have a 1-4%phosphorous content.  Low Phos EN deposits typically have a high as plated hardness (around 60 Rockwell) and area good choice when a hard deposit is required and heat treating is not possible.  Low Phos EN deposits have good corrosion resistance in highly alkaline environments, but poor corrosion resistance is all other environments. Low Phos plating baths are typically stable, plate fast and can produce aesthetically pleasing bright deposits. 

Mid Phos electroless nickel plated deposits have a 5-9%phosphorous content.  The most commonly used electroless system is the Mid Phos chemistry because it plates fast (0.8 –1.1 mil/hr) and can provide a mirror bright deposit.  The corrosion resistance is better than a Low Phos bath, but is still considered to have moderate to poor corrosion resistance in most environments.  From production to stability to cost per gallon, the Mid Phos bath is very economical to operate. 

High Phos electroless nickel plated deposits have a 10-12% phosphorous content.  When high deposit thickness and high corrosion resistance are required, High Phos EN is used.  The High Phos chemistry plates much slower than the Mid Phos chemistry, typically 0.3-0.6 mils/hour, but can provide pit free and compressively stressed deposits for the most aggressive environments. 

The remaining specialty electroless systems are used for specific applications where lubricity and release are required (Teflon & Boron Nitride) and where high hardness and wear resistance are required (EN Boron& Silicon Carbide). 

The Technical Sales and Service engineers of John Schneider & Associates, Inc. have over 60 years of combined experience installing, running and troubleshooting electroless nickel plating baths.  Please contact us for more information on our High Speed High Phos bath, Boron Nitride composite baths, hard as plated RC 63 baths, bright & ELV compliant Mid Phos baths, and low nickel (3 g/L) low ionic strength baths.  We will do our best to help you improve production, reduce operating costs and develop new markets.  

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