An introduction to nickel plating

Plating is one of the main processes used to deposit metals onto conductive surfaces. Nickel plating refers to the process of depositing a coating of nickel onto an object. The main reason for adding such a coating is to enhance existing properties or to add desirable new ones.

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Nickel plating is used in a wide range of industries including aerospace, electronics, oil/gas, construction, and engineering. The list of items that can be nickel-plated is extensive, but common examples include car bumpers and exhaust pipes, bicycle frames, wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers, lamp bases, taps, wire racks, kitchen handles, and printed circuit boards.

Plating methods

The most commonly used method is electroplating. This process uses an electric current and an electrolytic solution. This enables the deposition of metal ions onto the substrate, creating a thin coating layer.

Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP)

There are several techniques that are used for nickel plating. ENP is an increasingly popular method. There are a number of specialists in this, many of which have useful online resources, such as the examples seen at


Electroless nickel plating has several advantages over other methods.

The first is that it does not require a source of electricity. Instead of an electric current, the process uses a plating bath to deposit the coating onto the substrate. This saves on cost and reduces risk.

Electroless nickel coatings are extremely hard-wearing and corrosion-resistant to salt water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide. Adding these attributes means that the coated item becomes more durable and will last longer.

Due to the auto-catalytic nature of the ENP process, the coating that is added is very uniform and the thickness can be controlled.

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Overall, nickel plating offers several advantages, and electroless nickel plating in particular is extremely effective.

Thomas Hundley

Thomas Hundley

Thomas Hundley is a licensed contractor with over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry. His passion for helping homeowners create their dream spaces led him to start this blog, where he shares practical tips, DIY guides, and insights on the latest trends.

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