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topic 8187

Nickel Plating vs Electroless Nickel Plating


I am trying to investigate a plating suggestion brought to my attention by my supplier and I am having trouble finding information. We are currently plating a steel shaft with knurled surfaces with an electroless nickel. The supplier of the part is suggesting going to a standard nickel plating.

A lever is attached to the shaft and the lever must turn without slip on the shaft. The environments of this product are quite harsh and corrosive.

What are the strength/weaknesses of both platings?
What would I sacrifice by going to the standard nickel plating?
What are the typical cost differences between the two platings?

Thanks for all the help! Tony Develice
- Everett, Washington, USA


EN has many possibilities, namely thickness, Phos content, bake process to harden and the operator that did it.

For normal purposes, a mid P EN that is baked is probably what you are using now.

That EN will be harder, will wear better and will be more chemically resistant and will plate in the knurl better than bright nickel or sulfamate. It cost more on most applications.

Plated nickel can be put on much thicker at little additional cost and may work well. You will have to try it to see if it is adequate.

Unless you have a driving reason to change, I would not recommend changing. You know that this works.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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