Annually, the rate of zinc-nickel alloy plating has been increasing by at least 20%. This is the result of the demands by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from their clients and the government, to improve their overall corrosion protection for their products. Indeed, it has become the choice for many OEMs in the automotive business for their high-performance vehicle coatings. This is a long time coming since such nickel alloy plating (brass being the sole exception) did not receive substantial notice until the 1980s.
Zinc Nickel Alloy Plating Processes
The process of deposition for this type of electroplating provides the following percentages for nickel and zinc. Zinc dominates the deposits at a percentage of between deposits of 85% – 88%. Nickel deposit is at between 12% and 15%. There are two basic processes utilized to accomplish the correct deposits in zinc nickel alloy plating. These are:
1. Alkaline based – Once this process was the preferred method and is still considered the most effective methods of plating zinc and nickel
2. Chloride-based – Technology has improved this approach. It now can produce a surface layer almost as uniform as that provided by the alkaline method of zinc-nickel alloy plating
Either of these will produce zinc nickel alloy deposits. They may be employed in a rack plating or barrel plating treatment. Both processes will provide the benefits of zinc-nickel alloy plating to the metal substrate surface.
What Are The Benefits of Zinc-Nickel Alloy Plating?
The reasons for zinc nickel alloy plating are not directly related to cost. In fact, the process of this form of plating is quite expensive. However, when the cost of not protecting the substrate is taken into consideration, this type of plating may be cost-effective. This is because of the product benefits given to the substrate metal by the zinc-nickel alloy plating process. These consist of:
- Exceptional corrosion protection
- Exceptional adhesion features
- Outstanding uniformity of surface covering
- No display of whiskers when bent after plating
It is mainly the result of the superior corrosion resistance properties that many industries choose zinc nickel alloy plating.
Like zinc plating, zinc nickel alloy plating has found a substantial market in the automotive industry. Here, it is employed to protective coat such things as:
- Fasteners including bolts
It is used in the railway industry as well as in places where structural steel and aluminum requires protection from corrosion.
Zinc Nickel Alloy Plating
The alliance of zinc and nickel is beneficial in any industry that requires extensive corrosion protection for their components. As is the case with many metals the procedure must be applied with care. For example, if aluminum is involved, and zinc plating is requested, this must not be permitted. Instead, the process must be zinc nickel alloy plating or another alloy since if contact occurs between zinc and aluminum a form of corrosion known as Dissimilar Metal Corrosion will happen. The moral is simple. Any practitioner of metal plating must know when and if to replace zinc with zinc nickel alloy plating to achieve the results desired and not produce the opposite effect.
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