The Kanigen® process, where Kanigen stands for KAtalytic NIckel GENeration, was developed by G.A.T.X. (General American Transport Corporation) at the end of the 1950s. The first commercial electroless nickel plating process was intended to provide protection for storage drums intended for the transportation of caustic soda
Kanigen® Nickel is a nickel-phosphor alloy (9-12 wt% P) obtained by a catalytic reduction in liquid phase, of a nickel-salt by an alkalic hypophosphite, with added heat but without using additional sources of electricity.
The hypophosphite is partly oxidized to phosphide and partly reduced to phosphor. It is this phosphor which is found in the nickel plating and assists in determining the mechanical and chemical properties of the plating. The high percentage of phosphor results in the amorphuous (X-Ray amorph) properties of the plating, which results in the excellent corrosion protection
In contrast with electrolytic processes, the chemical Kanigen® process results in a very uniform plating that can also be applied very accurately.
The Kanigen® process is in compliance with European guidelines.
The Kanigen Group still makes its own chemistry according the Kanigen® process. It evolved over the years to become compliant with the current RoHS and ELV directives.
The chemical regulation on REACH has also been integrated.
The name Kanigen® is still protected (registered) and only Kanigen Works Benelux has the right to use this trade mark in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France.