Hard electroless nickel

Hard electroless nickel plating is a Kanigen® (9-12 wt%) electroless nickel deposit on which a heat treatment has been applied. This heat treatment changes the structure of the deposit, from an (X-Ray) amorphous structure to a crystalline structure. Due to the crystallisation process, depending on time and temperature the hardness of the deposit will increase.

2 heat treatment options can be chosen :

  • at 280°C, to obtain a hardness of 900HV0,1
  • at 400°C, to obtain the maximum hardness of electroless nickel : 1100 HV0,1
Electroless nickel is generaly applied on complex geometries. Hence the importance of the precision of the part, deformations due to the heat treatment must be avoided. This is why Kanigen Group chooses to harden the deposit at 280°C.

This type of deposit is used in applications where wear resistance is important and can be, depending on the case, an alternative for hard chromium.

Treated materials

The electroless nickel process makes it possible to treat a broad spectrum of metals that are used in industry. The most common that are found at Kanigen Group are: construction steel, alloyed steel, cast iron, stainless steel, aluminium alloys, copper alloys, ...

We also treat more uncommon materials like : silver (Ag), INVAR, 17-4 PH, …

Properties of hard electroless nickel

Hardness : 900 HV0,1 after heat treatment at 280°C.


  • Differentiel axes and washers
  • Machineparts for the glass industry
  • Clamping systems for oil rigs
  • Valve spools
  • Gearbox splines for industrial vehicules
  • … 

The strenghts of Kanigen Group

  • We are equipped with big furnaces to harden electroless nickel on very large parts or large series.
  • We guarantee a hardness of 900 HV0,1.

Case Study


Complete mastering of layer thickness and hardness

Since more than 20 years, we plate the washers of the " Torsen " differential, well known from the Audi Quattro.


" These very precise washers are used in different thicknesses and grinded at both sides. Therefor the layer thickness must absolutely be mastered to assure assembly. Secondly, the hardness must be guaranteed to be > 900 HV0,1. "


Today we plate all the parts produced in Europe.


Etudes de cas
Etudes de cas