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topic 2749

Durability of Nickel plating?


What is nickel plating and how durable is the finish for jewelery and bumper Etc.....?

Jimmy B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Newalla Oklahoma


Nickel plating is the electrolytic application of nickel metal to the surface of another material, Jimmy. Properly done, it is not going to peel off; and it takes an awful lot of abrasion to wear away a metal like nickel, so, yes, it's very durable.

Jewelry is increasingly not nickel plated anymore though because some people are allergic to it. And while bumpers are nickel plated, they have a top coat of chrome plating to improve corrosion resistance and minimize tarnishing. But your inquiry is too broad to answer it really fully.

Review a book or two on plating then get back to us with more specific questions and we'll be glad to try to helpsmiley

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


If you need the formulae, just contact me.

- casablanca


It is generous of you to offer that, Youssef. I don't know the situation in Casablanca, but here in the U.S.A. plating books are readily available and there is so much more to plating than just the formulas (safety issues, OSHA rules, environmental questions, etc.) that I like to know that a person has at least read a plating book or two, and has access to some, before he starts mixing chemicals. And since all the plating books have the formulas for nickel plating, I personally avoid telling people the formulas. But that's just me.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Dear Ted,

I'm interested in plating but I don't know how to start. I want to experiment myself in plating, I saw a friend of mine he has a rose plated with copper or nickel, which is very cool. I would like to know more about that specific kind of plating. Would you please lead me to where and how I can get some resources so I can experiment myself?. Thank you so much, Have a nice day. Best regards, Son Luong

Son Minh Luong
self - Maple Shade, NJ


We have a FAQ on that at, Son. But two things must be borne in mind: 1). there is no way a casual hobbyist is going to be able to produce beautiful art that rivals the work of a skilled artisan -- it requires artistic talent and long experience; 2). electroplating involves toxic, regulated, chemicals. How/where are you expecting to discharge this categorically regulated waste?

I would encourage anyone with an interest in plating to attend a local American Electroplaters & Surface Finishers Society meeting or two (you don't have to be a member).

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Hi There,

Nickel plating...

I have a metal shaft made from mild steel, this is part of a pool pump motor. if we were to nickel plate electrolytically would this prevent rusting in a salt water environment like a pool / spa. or is the salt water too harsh.

using around 30 micron or more if required what are our chances of the shaft not corroding/rusting. would last 1 month, 1 year, 5 years.

this will only happen if the mechanical seal on the impeller has defected.

how does it compare to the resistance of stainless steel 304


Pat Shiva
pool pumps - Australia

I think stainless, but preferably type 316 would be much better, Pat. For nickel plating to be truly corrosion resistant, it really needs to be duplex nickel followed by chrome, and that's starting to get quite expensive. Good nickel-chrome plating could last years, poor nickel plating would be porous and would accelerate corrosion rather than retarding it. See our FAQ on chrome plating.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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