Comparison of plating bonding between electroplating nickel and electroless nickel plating

Comparison of plating bonding between electroplating nickel and electroless nickel plating

Tue Feb 27 09:06:14 CST 2024

In the field of metal surface treatment, nickel plating is a commonly used process, which can provide corrosion resistance, wear resistance, decorative effect and improve the electrical conductivity of the metal. According to the deposition method of nickel coating, it can be divided into two kinds: electroless nickel plating process and electroplating nickel process. In this article, we will discuss the differences between electroless nickel plating and electroplating nickel and the characteristics of their respective coating binding forces.

About electroplating nickel process

The nickel electroplating process is the deposition of a nickel layer onto the surface of a workpiece by electrolysis. In this process, the item to be plated acts as the cathode and the nickel plate acts as the anode, and both are immersed in an electrolyte containing nickel salts. When an electric current is passed, metal ions on the cathode gain electrons and are reduced to nickel metal, which is deposited on the surface of the workpiece.

Electroplated nickel has a relatively strong bond to the substrate because the electroplating process can cause atomic bonding between the metals, and the nickel layer firmly adheres to the substrate. However, the surface treatment of the workpiece has a great influence on the bonding of the plating layer. Inadequate cleaning and activation treatment of the surface can greatly reduce the bonding between the nickel layer and the substrate.

About electroless nickel plating process

The electroless nickel plating process is an autocatalytic process that does not require an applied current. In the electroless nickel plating solution, the chemical reaction of the reducing agent drives the reduction of nickel ions to form a uniform coating on the surface of the workpiece. Electroless nickel plating provides better overall coverage of complex shaped workpieces and allows for uniform plating even in internal and blind holes of the workpiece.  

Its bonding strength with the substrate depends on the ratio of the electroless plating solution and the surface treatment of the workpiece. Generally speaking, the bonding strength of electroless nickel plating is slightly weaker than electroplating nickel, because it does not involve atomic bonding between metals, but generates a nickel layer on the surface through chemical reaction, and its firmness depends more on the chemical reaction conditions and pre-treatment process.

In summary, electroplating nickel usually has a strong plating bond because of the bonding between atoms, while  electroless nickel plating, because of its autocatalytic properties, provides good coverage of hard-to-reach areas of the workpiece, although the plating bond may be relatively weak.

When choosing the nickel plating process, we need to consider it according to the specific application requirements, the characteristics of the substrate and the morphology of the workpiece. Both processes Bigely, electroplating nickel process Ni-301 alignment is good, uniform distribution of plating; electroless nickel plating process Ni-811 plating is intact and non-porous, can meet the order for corrosion resistance of the high demand.

If you are interested in electroplating nickel and electroless nickel plating, please feel free to contact us.