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Plating on Nickel
and Nickel Alloys

Nickel is a fully-recyclable, corrosion resistant, and highly ductile metal that is frequently electroplated to enhance its already desirable physical and chemical properties. Nickel has a wide range of alloys that each possess their own set of unique qualities that are used across a multitude of industries.

Due to its incredible resistance to corrosion, both electroless and electrolytic Nickel Plating are two of the most common finishes in the surface finishing industry. However, there are also several benefits to plating Nickel as a substrate or base layer. AOTCO offers several plating services to find the perfect finish for your nickel and nickel alloy components.

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Plating Nickel Alloys

Oftentimes, materials in their purest forms don’t provide the qualities needed, cannot be easily plated, or are far too expensive for an entire job, this is where the use of alloy metals can be beneficial. Nickel alloys fairly well and therefore has an extensive list of commonly used alloys in the manufacturing industry. AOTCO has extensive experience plating Nickel and Nickel alloys including:

  • Invar: A Nickel-Iron superalloy, known for its impressive strength and thermal capabilities.
  • Alloy 42: An adaptation of Invar, this superalloy has even greater thermal resistance than Invar, but in turn is less electrically conductive. 
  • Kovar: A Nickel-Cobalt superalloy that has a near-identical rate of thermal expansion as glass, making it a common pairing for components such as vacuum tubes and diodes. 
  • Monel: A superalloy comprised of Nickel, copper, titanium, aluminum, and iron. Monel is used for its ability to maintain its functionality in high temperature environments and resist corrosion, particularly from salt water.
  • Hastelloy: An incredibly strong superalloy comprised of Nickel, Chromium, and Molybdenum. Used mostly for its thermal capabilities and ability to maintain its functionality in high pressure environments, Hastelloy substrates find common use in turbine combustors, pressure vessels, and even piping for nuclear reactors.
  • Inconel: An incredibly unique nickel-chrome superalloy that is mainly used for it’s high melting point and ability to self-preserve its outer layer by creating a passive oxide layer when reaching certain temperatures.
  • And more!

Common Nickel finishes include:

While electroless and electrolytic Nickel are two of the most common electroplating processes offered in the industry, Nickel is also a fairly common substrate. With a wide range of alloys, there are also a multitude of different possible surface finishes for Nickel and Nickel alloy substrates.

  • Copper Plating
  • Gold Plating
  • Silver Plating
  • Nickel Plating
  • And many more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits of Plating Nickel
While Nickel, electrolytic or electroless, is one of the most common plating depositions in the industry, it also can be electroplated itself. Whether you are finishing an entire nickel substrate, or adding a new surface layer over an already-deposited Nickel layer, the benefits of plating Nickel are as follows:
  • Increase/Adjust Conductivity
  • Aesthetically pleasing and smooth finish
  • Increase Corrosion Resistance
  • Improve/Adjust Thermal Capabilities
  • And many more!
Common Industry Applications for Nickle Substrates
Due to its already great corrosion resistance, ductility, and electrical conductivity, Nickel substrates find use across a multitude of industries. Some of the most common uses for electroplated nickel substrates include:
  • Electrical Contacts
  • Turbine Blades
  • Combustors
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Circuit Breakers
  • And many more!
For more information about plating on Nickel and other metal finishes, including Military Specs, AMS Specs and ASTM Specs, visit AOTCO Military Plating Specs page.
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