Electroless Nickel Plating
In contrast to conventional electroplating, Electroless Nickel Plating is produced by a chemical process alone without the need for an electric current. Instead a reducing agent present in the plating solution promotes the plating out of the nickel ions in the solution onto the substrate surface as metallic Nickel. The reducing agent is conventionally Sodium Hypophosphite and thus the plated metal is an alloy of Nickel and Phosphorous. This system is said to be Auto-Catalytic.
The main benefit of such a system is that plating occurs uniformly wherever the solution and the base metal come into contact and as long as there is a steady flow of fresh plating solution the result will be uniform all over the work piece, even down long holes for example. With electrolytic systems the electric field strength would drop off and disappear completely down such features and plating would not happen.
The Nickel Phosphorous alloy produced in this process is hard, abrasion resistant and corrosion resistant. It is also Naturally lubricious.
In appearance it can vary from looking like bright chrome plate to silver-grey. Coatings are electrically conductive. Can be applied to most metals and with correct pre-plating treatment to plastics as well.