Kanigen® Electroless Nickel (9-12wt%P)

Electroless nickel is a technical layer composed of nickel (Ni) and phosphorus (P: 9% to 12% wt%). It is applied using the Kanigen ® process (electroless and autocatalytic) by immersion in an aqueous environment. If required, a phosphor content of 10,5wt% can be guaranteed.

Unlike electrolytic (galvanic) coatings, the electroless nickel process results in a layer that is uniform and of even thickness; it is also very accurate and can be applied without edge effects.

As a result, geometrically complex parts can be plated, directly to final dimensions, without mechanical finishing, within the requested tolerance.

Differences between electroless nickel plating and galvanic (electrolytic) coatings

Electroless nickel :

The coating has a uniform thickness, a thickness accuracy within microns, inside and outside.

Electrolytic deposits :

Irregular thickness, internally and externally, edge effects.

Variants :

  • Electroless nickel. Very good corrosion resistance. Hardness of 50 HRC or 530 HV0, 1.
  • Amagnetic electroless nickel with a phosphor content >10,5 wt%
  • Electroless hard nickel, heat treated at 280° C. Hard and wear-resistant layer. Hardness + / - 67 HRc or > 900 HV0, 1.
  • Diffused electroless nickel, heat-treated > 600° C. Very good corrosion and wear resistance in highly unfavourable working conditions, such as subsea and on- & offshore applications, etc..

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

Kanigen® electroless nickel plating can also be used as sublayer :

  • NiPtef : a Kanigen® electroless nickel deposit followed by a co-deposition (dispersion) deposit of electroless nickel and PTFE (V%>20)
  • Black mat electroless nickel : a Kanigen® electroless nickel deposit followed by a low phosphorous electroless nickel deposit passivated black mat.
  • Black bright electroless nickel : a Kanigen® electroless nickel deposit followed by a mid-phosphorous electroless nickel deposit passivated black bright.

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, ...

Properties of electroless nickel

With its characteristic phosphorus content, electroless nickel has interesting properties:

  • corrosion resistance
  • high hardness and wear resistance
  • low coefficient of friction (avoid cold welding)
  • good substrate for soldering

Other features: high adhesion rate, its X-ray amorphous structure is particularly interesting for vacuum applications, low magnetizability ...

The Strenghts of Kanigen GroupGroup
Phosphor content between 9% and 12wt%: wt% P > 8.5 wt% P = X-Ray amorphous*.

* The electroless nickel plating deposit has an amorphous structure. Heat treatment of this deposit can/will change the structure of the deposit and will modify its mechanical, electrical and chemical properties. Such as : hardness, corrosion resistance and magnetic behaviour.


Case study


Project rentability guaranteed by co-development

In 2003, our biggest client challenged us : to plate parts, designed to be plated on racks, in barrels. This to make the project economical viable.
So we did !


The Kanigen team was opposed to 4 challenges :

  • Plate parts in barrels which were extremely sensible to chocs,
  • with very high requirements for cleanliness,
  • while guaranteeing a layer thickness within 7 à 10 μm.
  • last but not least, the parts were deformed during assembly !

The successful realisation of this project was only possible thanks to the narrow collaboration with our customer.


In 2007, we moved the production from Kanigen Works Benelux in Genk (B) to Kanigen France in Bonneville (F) where we build a customised fully automatic production line dedicated to these products. This to answer the request of our customer to plate the parts in the proximity of the production site.


Etudes de cas
Etudes de cas