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topic 4426

Can ENi plating be machined ?


I'm the plating manager in our plant and need help on the ENi process. We plate a high phos. Electroless nickel over carbon steel and over SS with good adhesion, but one of our clients needs to machine the parts after 25 to 50 µm. and the nickel comes off during the machining process.

What can we do ?

Any help will be appreciated. Thank you. Enrique

Enrique Segovia
- Monterrey, Mexico


Electroless nickel can even be diamond turned for the ultimate in smooth surfaces. It sounds like your electroless nickel simply doesn't have enough adhesion and that you will need to investigate the pretreatment and plating processes.

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


Grinding and honing are not uncommon on EN. With lots of coolant.

Heat treated EN is basically too hard for conventional machining. Carbide or ceramic inserts will cause a lot of failures.I suspect that they are taking large cuts and are crushing the nickel. Also, they could be generating enough heat by the wrong coolant or not enough. I would start checking my preplate quality with the most stringent adhesion test you have access to. If you can do repetitive 180 degree bends to metal failure with minor flaking at the break and no peelback, you have good EN and the problem is in the machine shop. If not, it is in your shop or a combination of both shops.

Unfortunately, plating is the whipping boy in most machine shops.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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