Electroless Nickel Plating on Aluminium

An increasing number of machine and equipment builders are choosing aluminium as the basic material when designing new parts, for the obvious reason of weight reduction. E.g.: structural elements, precise mechanical components, fast moving carriers or parts, casings.


System builders from the automotive sector are also more and more inclined toward choosing aluminium for technical and mechanical components. E.g.: increasing the wear-resistance of components of turbo systems in context of CO₂ reduction or designing parts that are used in a highly corrosive environment such as biofuels.

 

   
Automotive part, rack plated

The combination of chemical nickel plating and aluminium offers added value in order to comply with specific military standards or requirements for cleanliness (semiconductor and vacuum applications).

To be able to use aluminium parts in aggressive conditions, these parts must be resistant to corrosion and/or wear. As a result, they must receive a coating to be able to meet the high technical demands, taking into account the complexity of the geometry and the precision of the components.

 

Parts with a complex geometry and high precision, rack plated (with movement)

Means of Production

That is why Kanigen Works Benelux has invested in a dedicated and fully automated production line for treating aluminium.

Available methods:

  • Rack plating, with or without movement of the parts

  • Barrel plating

Special tools can be developed to meet specific requirements.

Our bath dimensions are 750 (length) x 500 (width) x 700 (depth) mm.

Treatable Types of Aluminium

We can plate all types of aluminium substrates, not only series 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 but also aluminium die-cast. The only exception is Zamak.

Die cast aluminium parts – militairy application

Why choose electroless nickel as surface treatment on aluminium?

The most important property of electroless nickel plating is the uniformity of the layer and the precision with which the plating can be applied, even on parts with complex geometries.

Technical properties motivating the choice for electroless nickel plating:

  • Corrosion resistance in a severe environment, for example contact with ink or biofuels.
  • A Kanigen® electroless nickel deposit (9-12 wt% P) is closed and amorph. Properties which make electroless nickel particularly suitable for vacuum applications.
  • As the process is applied chemically (electroless – without the use of current), tolerated holes maintain their shape and precision.
  • There are no tensions introduced to the surface during the plating process, which makes the deposit very suited for mechanically heavy loaded parts.
  • The coating is also suitable as a bottom layer for solder applications.
  • A hard and wear resistant deposit
    - 530 HV0,1 (50 HRc) as deposited
    - 900 HV0,1 (67 HRc) after heat treatment at 280 °C

Do note hesitate to contact us if you have further questions or if you wish technical support during the development of your design.