Important Choices In Zinc Nickel Electroplating Processes

One of the advantages that OEMs have in outsourcing metal finishing to an experienced and specialized company is the experience and knowledge that comes with the service. Working closely with the metal finishing company engineers, the OEM team can evaluate the options in electroplating processes and make a decision that is best for the specific part or component.

Since the early part of the 1980s, zinc nickel electroplating has been a popular consideration for the finishing of metals. Increasingly, this is the coating of choice for use on parts and components in both the automotive and the aerospace industries. Agricultural and heavy duty equipment parts and components, as well as metal parts that used outdoors or in corrosive environments, are all good candidates for this electroplating process.

Why Choose Zinc Nickel?

In standard types of zinc nickel electroplating, there is approximately 15% nickel. This is applied in a thin layer on the surface of carbon steel, and typically includes the zinc nickel layer next to the steel, followed by a trivalent passivate and then a top coat for significant protection.

The addition of the nickel to the zinc adds an advantage over standard zinc electroplating. This includes increased resistance to corrosion, which extends the life of parts and components. It also increases the visual look of the part, which is an important factor for products where the component is visible.

The zinc nickel electroplating is also more resistant to wear. Moving parts that make contact with each other or with stationary components in equipment do not become worn on the surface as quickly, leading to longer part life.

In specific types of applications where high temperatures are a concern, such as engines and aerospace components, the zinc nickel is effective at limiting the effects of thermal stress on the part, which is also necessary for maximum duty cycles for parts and components.

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