What is the difference between electroless nickel plating and nickel electroplating?

What is the difference between electroless nickel plating and nickel electroplating?

Sat Apr 13 08:16:14 CST 2024

Nickel electroplating process and electroless nickel plating process are both methods to achieve a layer of nickel plating on the surface of metal or other materials, but they have obvious differences in principle and operation:

1. Principle differences:

Nickel electroplating: Using an impressed current, a nickel layer is deposited on a conductive object (cathode) by electrolysis. The anode is usually pure nickel, and the current passes through the nickel salts in the plating solution (such as nickel sulfate, nickel chloride, etc.) to form a nickel layer on the surface of the object.

Electroless nickel plating: Instead of applying an electric current, nickel ions are reduced to nickel metal in solution using Bigely electroless nickel plating solution and deposited on the surface of the object that has been specially treated, i.e. catalyzed, to form a nickel plated layer.

2. Differences in process steps:

Nickel electroplating: The bath and power supply unit must be prepared prior to plating and it must be ensured that the item has good electrical conductivity to accept the current between the anode and cathode.

Electroless nickel plating: does not require a power source or complex bath setup, but requires special treatment of non-conductive items prior to electroless plating to enhance the catalytic effect on the surface.

3. Differences in fields of application:

Nickel electroplating: Widely used on metal parts that require enhanced electrical conductivity, wear resistance or decorative appearance.

Electroless nickel plating: Suitable for nickel plating of complex shapes or non-conductive materials, such as plastics, glass, etc. It is also used to enhance corrosion resistance.

4. Differences in the quality and characteristics of the coating:

Nickel electroplating: The thickness of the electroless nickel layer is easy to control, which can be realized by adjusting the current and plating time, and a high glossy nickel layer can be obtained.

Electroless nickel plating: Using Bigely electroless nickel plating solution, the plating obtained is homogeneous and even articles with complex geometries can be plated with a uniform thickness.

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