-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

on this site
current topics

60,000 Q&A topics -- Education, Aloha, & Fun

topic 9379

Electroless Nickel Plating of Steel Molds

A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2019


Q. Dear All:

We need to plate with Electroless Nickel some plastic injection molds. The main reason is to protect from hydrogen to get out.

My questions:

1. If it's correct to plate with nickel to that destiny?

2. There are special (plastic) row material that unique to this plating?

3. What is the recommended thickness for this destiny?

Thanks and best regards,

Meir [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Israel

adv.   bales mold banner


A. Dear Meir:

When you say avoid hydrogen to get out do you mean from the plastic or from the mold substrate? We have been plating plastic molds for automobile and other industries for over 6 years mostly for corrosive plastics such as ABS, PVC or CPVC. I need more specific info to help better.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

Mold release problem for rotational molding process


Q. Hi,
I have a small factory for producing water storage tanks.
I am using steel molds in the rotational molding process to produce the tanks using powder form of LLDPE, at 230 ° C.
I have a release problem in my work. I am looking for a suitable kind of teflon coating to the inner surface of the mold to improve the release of the product out of the steel moulds, can anybody tell me about the suitable type and the coating process to solve my problem.

Nidal Fattoum
- Ramallah, West-Bank


A. There is a process that deposits Teflon particles embedded in an electroless nickel matrix which is best for your application. Second choices would be plain hard chrome or electroless nickel. Since your molds are perhaps rather large, it may be hard to find a supplier that has the required size tanks and capabilities. On the other hand, if your molds are not required to remove lots of heat very fast and the surface finish is not of paramount importance, maybe a sprayed-on teflon paint over a well blasted surface might last enough to be cost effective.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico


Q. Thank you Mr. Guillermo Marrufo, I do really appreciate your answers. In my application process I need to cool down the molds from 230 °C to the ambient temperature in about 20 minutes, using moist cooling air. The surface finish of the product should be even and nice looking; i.e. acceptable to the customer.
NOW, according to the above mentioned, which one is better, The sprayed-on teflon paint, or the process that deposits Teflon particles embedded in an electroless nickel matrix?
Thank you,

Nidal Fattoum [returning]
- Ramallah, West Bank


A. Electroless nickel (EN) either plain or composite with teflon (CEN) as well as chrome, develop a molecular bonds to most metallic mold surfaces, they replicate the finish and are very smooth and durable. CEN is expensive and hard to find a shop that can handle large molds but its performance is best. Teflon paint, on the other hand, tends to rely on a mechanical bite or anchor pattern to obtain a fair adhesion to the mold. Thus, the mold surfaces have to be blasted. A good processor may render a product similar to that of a Teflon fryer pan. It is cheaper and size may not be an issue but heat transfer may. Hard chrome and plain EN are in between in price, performance and durability. Good luck.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

December 29, 2012

Q. My end product is a silicone molded eye implant. I want to do plating to get fine/shiny surface finish implant after molding. Any one can suggest the permanent plating method for the mold so that the plating/costing won't peel off after some time and stick to the molded parts.

Plastic/ silicone rubber medical device manufacturer - Madurai, TN, India

January 10, 2013

A. You do not mention what is the base material of your molds but properly applied electro-nickel or electroless nickel will not peel from conventional steel materials in a long time and both will resist corrosion and take a superb mirror finish. Chrome is harder but less resistant in case you process is extremely corrosive.
In any case, electroformed nickel or nickel-cobalt molds are a very good alternative to steel for molds that require outstanding corrosion resistance, good polishability and hardness.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

March 6, 2019

Q. Hello. What thickness of electroless nickel do you recommend to withstand corrosion on a steel mold that will have high pressure PVC injection?

Camilo pages
Molds - Mexico City, Mexico

March 20, 2019

A. I would recommend .001 minimum of high phos electroless nickel for this application to withstand the processes.

Tyler Thomas
T- Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental Compliance

©1995-2020, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.