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Ni plating vs Powder Coating for corrosion resistance and conductivity


I am buying some custom automation for building explosive devices (airbag igniters), and there are special needs for safety, longevity, etc. The environment is very high humidity, so corrosion is an issue. The explosives are VERY sensitive to static and electricity, so it is good practice to ground/bond everything.

The machine builder says this about Nickel over Powder Coating: ...Nickel adds .005+ inch to the overall thickness of the part, it is not maskable during the plating and very unreliable for locating surfaces after the plating is on.

Nickel is conductive. How about Electroless Nickel? What dimensional and electrical tolerances can I achieve with plating that is reasonable in price (relative to powder coat) and meets the environment needs I have?


Will Hunter
- Hollister, California, USA


Save money and use the powder coating let your insurance company worry about the liability. If jail time is a concern do the job overseas. If your conscience should start bothering you and you can find it in your heart to cough up the dough electroless nickel would be the way to go. If you really want to go all out I bet OSHA even has some guidelines and regulations on the handling and manufacture of explosive stuff that would help you.

Todd Osmolski
- Charlotte, North Carolina, USA


Uhhhh, I think Todd is saying that this project very obviously needs electroless nickel and that your desire that it be "reasonable in price" compared to the unacceptable alternative of powder coating must play no part in the coating selection.

Electroless nickel deposits very evenly and probably needs to be something like .001" thick, depending on the actual parts and conditions. Electroless nickel is rather expensive though.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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