Selective Nickel Plating

Discover what selective nickel plating is, what benefits it offers, and our processes.

Selective Nickel Plating – What is it?

Selective Nickel Plating is an electrochemical process used to deposit nickel on almost any conductive material and virtually any type of surface without immersing the part in a plating bath. It offers several significant advantages over conventional plating processes. The most important of which is the ability to deposit metal precisely onto the area where it is required and in varying and closely controlled uniform thicknesses.

The deposits have excellent adhesion, are dense fine grained, low in porosity and are deposited without generating any damaging heat. The process can be used on single parts or high volume production runs.

The process of Selective Nickel Plating

The theory of selective plating is simple. The DC power pack (rectifier) supplies a negative current to the work piece and a positive current to a hand held, or in some cases, fixtured electrode (anode). The anode is covered with an absorbent material such as scotch brite, which holds the plating solution. The anode is either dipped or the plating solution is constantly pumped up to the area being plated. The anode is then applied to the work piece by the operator, or the work piece is moved over the fixed anode. This movement will allow even plating build-up on the entire area being plated. Plating occurs only where the anode contacts the work piece.

Advantages of Selective Nickel Plating

Selective Nickel Plating should be considered whenever industry builds up metal for repair or resizing or for mechanical or corrosion resistant properties. The plater can take the equipment used in brush plating to the work, often avoiding disassembly, reassembly, and downtime. Brush plating, or selective plating, affords numerous benefits over other metal repair processes such as welding, thermal spraying, or bath electroplating including:

  • Portability, the ability to move the equipment to the work rather than the work to outside vendors
  • Ease of operation
  • Capability of rapid metal build-up
  • Disassembly of machinery/parts can be minimized
  • Reduces amount of masking required as with bath electroplating
  • Permits plating of parts too large for normal plating tanks
  • Ability to coat to size with little or no post-machining
  • Excellent adhesion to most base materials
  • Dense coatings
  • Minimization of hydrogen embrittlement
  • Ability add metal without thermal distortion
  • Thickness control from 0.00001″
  • Touch up of plated coatings without need to strip and replate the entire part
  • Reduces waste disposal problems since minimal volumes of waste are invovled
  • Compliance with most Federal and commercial specs.
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