Electroless Nickel – All You Need to Know

Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP) is the deposit of a nickel-phosphorous alloy coating by autocatalytic chemical reduction – without the electric current.

The majority of ENP for engineering purposes is a nickel-phosphorus alloy deposit containing 2 to 13% phosphorus by weight.

Higher the phosphorus content the greater is the corrosion resistance, however, on increasing the phosphorus content, the hardness of the coating decreases.

  • Highphos ENP: P-content 10 – 13%, high corrosion resistance (>25 µm, >1000 hrs NSS), hardness as plated 450 – 550 HV
  • Midphos ENP: P-content 6 – 9% moderate corrosion resistance (>25 µm, >96 hrs NSS), hardness as plated 550 – 650 HV
  • Lowphos ENP: P-content 2 – 5% low corrosion resistance (>25 µm, >24 hrs NSS), hardness as plated 700 – 800 HV

ENP is deposited by reducing Ni2+ cation to metallic nickel with a chemical reducing agent such as sodium hypophosphite or borohydride or DMAB. In the course of chemical reduction, some phosphorous generated gets deposited along with reduced Ni-metal to form a Ni-P Alloy Thickness of 15 – 75 µm, this is very common for most of the application, but for some specific applications high phosphorus ENP can edge above 75 µm also, especially, for very high corrosion and wear resistance requirements.

The advantages of electroless nickel plating

ENP offers excellent corrosion resistance against most of the common corrodents such as saltwater, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and hydrogen sulphide, etc.

High phosphorus deposit of ENP (10-13% phosphorous) is amorphous in nature, which means that there are no grain or phase boundaries to create active sites for the initiation corrosion.

The uniformity of ENP versus electrolytic deposits is very advantageous for plating irregular and complicated shapes of substrates. ENP deposits a uniformly thick coating across the whole substrate; even in slots, holes, and inside walls of the tubing.

Without heat treatment, corrosion-resistant of high phosphorus ENP is very high and also has good hardness and wear resistance properties. Hardness can be increased more than doubled by heat treatment with a bit of compromise in corrosion protection.

ENP offers a cost-effective solution for applications subject to conditions where wear and corrosion are factors; extending service life and providing a lower-cost alternative to corrosion-resistant alloys, particularly where carbon steel suffers localised corrosion; flange attack or weld corrosion.

What are the properties of the deposit and factors affecting them?

ENP provides excellent corrosion protection and uniformity in thickness of deposit along with good hardness. The phosphorus content of the deposit can be chosen as per the requirement of the application.

At Grauer & Weil our technical team understands each customers’ application and its requirement before recommending the optimum phosphorus level – the higher the phosphorus content the greater the corrosion resistance but lower the hardness.

Hardness of ENP can be increased by heat treatment but this produces a micro-crack in the deposit which reduces the corrosion resistance of the coating.

Uniform thickness distribution and alloy composition on complex shapes are the biggest advantages of Electroless plating over electroplating.

How does heat treatment affect ENP?

ENP is at its most corrosion-resistant in its amorphous phase. Heat treatment causes particles of nickel phosphide (Ni-Ni3P) to precipitate, destroying the amorphous character of the deposit. With highphos ENP deposits, this occurs at temperatures between 300 and 395 °C.

How well does ENP adhere to substrates?

Adhesion is dependent on effective cleaning of the substrate. With good surface preparation adhesion to carbon steel is between 200-420 MPa. With stainless steels, the bond strength is usually between 120-160 MPa.

What factors affect plating quality?

There are several factors affecting plating quality and they should be effectively managed by your surface finishing partner.

– Surface preparation: Rough, badly machined surfaces with uneven metal surfaces, burrs, or cold shuts cannot be effectively plated.

– Cleaning: Surfaces must be free from oils, dirt, and soaps formed by saponification of oils by alkaline cleaners.

– Control of the baths and operating parameters: Temperature, pH, nickel ion concentration, and hypophosphite concentration all need to be carefully managed to ensure high quality and consistent plating finish.

What are the fabrication/finishing requirements before plating?

Weld spatter should be removed, sharp edges radiuses and weld roots ground smooth. When refurbishing/remanufacturing components it is important that corroded areas are ground to a flat surface.

Some other key considerations

When looking to choose a suitable partner for your electroless nickel plating requirements it is important to check for several factors:

– Will surface inspection be completed prior to plating?

– Are the chemicals supplied by a certified ENP product supplier?

– Are ENP solutions made up with demineralized (DM) water?

– Is continuous filtration of the bath to 3 microns done along with air agitation?

– Is bath chemistry (Ni2+, hypo, buffer, etc.) monitored regularly by chemical analysis?

– How regularly are plating Tanks cleaned?

– Is the inspection of the plating line carried out to sufficient levels?

GROWEL WIRE DRAWING OILS

GrowelSpecializes in the development & manufacture of lubricating oils used in the wire drawing industry.

The Indian Market hitherto was dominated by multinational corporations, Growel drawing oil has developed a made in India range of highly advanced range of products specifically geared for the wire drawing industry.

These wire drawing products are categorized as per the material used for the wire manufacture –

  • MS & steel wire drawing oils
  • Aluminium wire drawing oils
  • Copper tube drawing oils
  • Copper wire drawing oils

MS & steel wire drawing oils –

GRODAL NOX UM – Water-soluble lubricating compound for MS & SS wire drawing as well as deep drawing applications.

GRODAL STEEL NOX / NOX –

This is a pasty material based on vegetable oil & surfactants used for steel, MS, black & galvanized wires. In many industries, it is also used for deep drawing purposes.

Aluminium drawing oils –

Growel’s lubricants cover all the aluminum wire production stages:

Rod breakdown (RBD)

Intermediate drawing.

Fine-wire drawing

Extra-fine wire drawing

Coiling and/or bunching

Products –

GRODAL STAMP DE 2010 –

This product is mainly used in vanishing, drawing, stamping & blanking applications.

It is especially suitable for aluminum & its alloys.

GRODAL DRAW 300 –

This is a low viscosity fine aluminum wire drawing oil free from sulphur, chlorine, zinc & is, therefore, suitable for super finishing of ferrous, non-ferrous & yellow metals.

Multifunctional semi-synthetic oil for aluminum or its alloys. This range of drawing oils is specially designed for excellent lubrication, extreme cooling power & better detachment from aluminium.

GRODAL STAR DE 1422 –

40 CST viscosity product -Multifunctional semi-synthetic oil for aluminium or its alloys specific for wire rod breakdown and drawing. Final diameter above 0.6 mm.

GRODAL STAR DE 1422-90-

40 CST viscosity product -Multifunctional semi-synthetic oil for aluminium or its alloys Specific for wire rod breakdown and drawing. Final diameter above 0.4 mm.

GRODAL STAR DE 1422 R-

170 CST viscosity product- Multifunctional semi-synthetic oil for aluminium or its alloys Specific for wire rod breakdown and drawing. Final diameter above 0.9 mm.

GRODAL STAR DE 1422 H-

22 CST viscosity product – Semi-synthetic oil for the drawing of aluminium and its alloys fine-wires (Al/Mg). Exit diameter above 0.5 mm. Corrector additive for GRODAL STAR DE 1422 R and TADAL STAR DE 1422/90.Suitable for enameled aluminium wire drawing.

GRODAL STAR DE 1422 F-

12 CST viscosity product – Semi-synthetic oil specially designed for the drawing of aluminium fine-wires. Suitable for the production of enameled wire. Exit diameter below 0.5 mm. Corrector additive for GRODAL STAR DE 1422 and GRODAL STAR DE 1422/90.

COPPER TUBE DRAWING OIL –

GRODAL TUB 3000 –

This is a synthetic oil specially designed for drawing copper pipes. This product is also suitable for inner drawing & is free from mineral oils, sulphur & chlorinated esters. 

GRODAL TUB M 01F-

A synthetic oil suitable for inner copper tube drawing.

GRODAL FIL C-14-

Light viscosity stranding oil for aluminium & copper. This product has a high cooling ability.

COPPER WIRE DRAWING & ANTI TARNISH FLUIDS

GRODAL CU 860 & GRODAL CU 661 –

These products are added to water to prevent tarnish & oxidation on copper tubs, wires, rods, etc.

GRODAL CU SYN DRAW 12 –

An all synthetic product with lubricity, corrosion inhibitors & surfactants. This product is free from binding, enameled wire rejections, oil separation & insoluble copper soap formation.

GRODAL CU 1350 N

Multipurpose emulsionable semi-synthetic oil for copper and enameled copper wire. High stability and high detergency. It provides high benefits with low maintenance costs. Suitable for an enameled wire.

OPERATING DATA

Wire type                                             Concentration % volume

Copper

Rod                                                                12 -18

Intermediates                                                  4 – 10

Fine                                                                3 – 5

Annealing                                                        1 – 1.5 max

GRODAL SYNCOOL 2 – SURFACE PROTECTOR CUM COOLANT FOR PUMP INDUSTRY

GRODAL SYNCOOL 2 is the “GROWEL” make surface protector cum coolant widely used in Pump Industry for Submersible / Open well / Self Priming Pump-sets. Its primary application is to protect the inner surface of the motor against Rust and Corrosion which increases the working lifespan for the Motor to a long time.

GRODAL SYNCOOL 2:- Major Benefits

1. Due to its well-balanced formulation it reduces the pump set’s choked-up problem with the help of world-class cleaning agent cum rust inhibitor additives. Exhibits excellent performance on cast iron body washing/cleaning & rust protection.

2. Easy start-up even at low voltage due to choking free operation.

3. Increased life of thrust bearing and bushing due to synthetic water- soluble lubricity additives.

4. No pressure generation after using GRODAL SYNCOOL 2 in the pump, resulting in no gas formation into the closed system due to the additives.

5. Our product is chlorine & phenol-free.

6. Increases the overall efficiency, based on specific requirements as 20% dilution with DM water to 100%.

7. Toxicity test carried out NABL approved lab resulting passes.

8. Our product GRODAL SYNCOOL 2 is formulated with top quality water-soluble additives.

9. We strongly recommend this product to use in the pumps Instead of plain water by pump manufacturer to avoid rusting & to boost the overall performance in operation by 5-6%.

How to use GRODAL SYNCOOL 2 in pumps:-

  • First flush & clean the Submersible / Open well / Monoset motor cooling system by soft / Tap water. Fill with one part (1Ltr) “Growel” make Grodal Syncool 2 & 4 parts (4Ltr) of DM water or drinking water in to the motor up to specified / marking level. Then complete the assembly of a motor by tightening the screw with washer & ‘O’ ring. Ensure there is no leakage. Before final installation submersible motor must check (start) for 1-2 minutes. If it starts smoothly then the submersible motor is ready for installation. During this check, GRODAL SYNCOOL 2 develops a synthetic polymer layer inside the motor. This layer protects the inner surface against rust/corrosion.

Advantages of Using GRODAL SYNCOOL 2:

  • Grodal Syncool 2 is beneficial commercially as well as technically.
  • Consumption benefit of our product is as under:
APPLICATION COMPETITOR PRODUCT RATIO GROWEL RATIO
Washing CI Parts of motor with Gun Metal Bush 30 % 20 %
Washing CI Parts of motor with Carbon Bush 30 % 4 %
Washing of Rotor/Stator 30 % 20 %
Coolant filling at testing/dispatch 12.5 % 10 %
    null
  • Grodal Syncool 2 has better performance in terms of Rust Protection compare to competitor’s product
  • We have small packing like 1 Kg, 5 kg & 30 Kgs
  • Overall benefit of 8 to 10 % with GRODAL SYNCOOL 2

At Growel, automation is at the heart of all our plating plants. Keeping this in mind our team, in technical collaboration with Utikal Automation Germany, is working with GalvCon V4.0, a PC-based software exclusively developed for atomization of surface finishing processes. The software is developed to be rich in features and provide ease in operation even when there is a need for replacement and modification.

This automation package is developed in such a way that the “intelligent part” of the software is written on the PC whereas the “driving program”, which rarely requires any changes, is written to the PLC. A highly reliable and powerful TCP/IP connection is established with Siemens S7 controller which requires no special drivers or third-party software for communication.

Initiating the plant operation is as easy as entering the article number and quantity to be loaded, the software initiates the cycle with minimum manual intervention.

Each article is pre-assigned with a unique process flow program (sequence of movement with time) and a power program (current density setting). Every article is capable of having a different process flow and current density program. The system has no limitation on the number of articles and their subsequent programs. The process program is designed to include parameters such as order of the baths, residence times, current setting in electrolytic baths, automatic dosing, temperature control in heating/cooling baths, and control of accessories along with visualization. The most powerful feature of this software is the capability of having flexible cycles. With this feature different articles having different process flow programs (different articles need to be processed in different baths with different timings) can be loaded onto the plant as per the user’s output demand.

The software is designed in such a way that the operator is allowed to load articles randomly as required and the intelligence of the software will decide the right sequence of the flight bar movement in the plant. The loaded flight bars may be temporarily stored at the buffer station or maybe directly taken for processing. The software will calculate the most efficient sequence of flight bar entry into the plant ensuring the most optimal usage of the baths and the transport wagons.

GalvCon V4.0 enjoys the following features and advantages:

  • Multi-level Password protection for avoiding operator level errors.
  • Multiple computers can be connected in the network for visualization but only one PC has the master process control.
  • Remote system connectivity is possible for process and status visualization through the Internet.
  • A special Loading terminal can be provided, to select the article while loading with visual identification.
  • Vast flexibility for process control.
  • Software can be quickly tailored to suit user needs.
  • Process and current programs can easily adapt to change in plant structure.
  • High stability and reliability.

GRODAL GLASS 339 – Glass Grinding Fluids Challenges & Opportunities

In the early days of glass processing, water was used as a coolant and lubricant.  However, the use of diamond-tipped tools in glass processing with only water as a coolant led to the following problems in glass grinding operations:

  • Marked decrease in process efficiency
  • Runaway cost escalation on account of rapid wear and tear of diamond tools.
  • Extensive corrosion of plant & machinery
  • Undesirable pH increase of the grinding solution

Due to the brittle nature of glass and the stresses of glass grinding, the coolant used to aid the grinding process has to fulfill a number of requirements. As an example, fine glass particles are produced during the grinding process which instead of settling at the bottom, remains suspended in the water thereby reducing the effectiveness of the water to act as a coolant. In addition, these glass particles had an abrasive effect during the operation, creating unacceptable scratches on the toughened glass.

Rising to the needs of the industry, Growel has specifically designed a high-performance grinding fluid/coolant- GRODAL GLASS 339 which now eliminates these problems.

GRODAL GLASS 339 is a synthetic coolant concentrate based on ester additives that are designed to cool and lubricate extreme machining operations on flat toughened glass such as edge grinding, drilling, milling, etc. Exceptional Bio-Stability permits operation with hard water up to 450 ppm. It keeps the tools clean and allows the glass powder to settle easily.

GRODAL GLASS 339 – APPLICATION GUIDELINES

Stir with water in the desired (usually 0.2% to 0.5%) ratio to a homogeneous solution.

For a higher lubricity ratio, it can be increased to 1 – 1.5%.

Special additives in the Grodal Glass 339 keeps the surfaces of the diamond tool sharp. This in turn maintains grinding performance and substantially reduces glass processing time. The absence of these vital additives would necessitate the frequent replacement of the diamond tool, thereby leading to an exponential rise in operation cost.

One of Grodal Glass 339’s many real-world application successes includes the case study of one of our key customers engaged in the manufacture of mobile phone scratch guard glass. Their organization was using an imported cutting fluid @ 2.5% concentration level resulting in their use of 140-150 liters of fluid daily. Upon switching to Grodal Glass 339 at 1.5% their consumption reduced to 80-90 liters daily. Our customers also reported a marked reduction in the amount of fuming they were experiencing during cutting operations. Advantages ranged from the locally available and as-needed supply of cutting fluid to the measurably superior performance of the Grodal Glass 339. 

NEW GENERATION LEAD-CADMIUM FREE HIGHPHOS ELECTROLESS NICKEL PLATING (ENP): GINPLATE NI 625

GINPLATE Ni 625 is an advanced RoHS electroless nickel plating (ENP) process. Highphos ENP is commonly used on components exposed to aggressive usage or hostile environments. It is specially designed to produce deposits that exhibit superior performance for engineering and functional applications. ENP process is also suitable for difficult to plate substrate and geometry. The carefully formulated additives of Ginplate Ni 625 provide excellent stability to the bath solution and good plating speed.

In many applications, the use of Micro Plating High Phosphorus ENP allows the substitution of less expensive materials as a low-cost alternative for hard to machine or stainless steel alloys.

The GINPLATE Ni 625 is supplied as three separate liquid concentrates: Ginplate Ni 625 A, Ginplate Ni 625 B, and Ginplate Ni 625 C.

CHARACTERISTICS OF COATING

  • 10-12% phosphorus
  • High corrosion and wear resistance
  • High hardness
  • Uniform thickness distribution (100% coverage)
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • Pits and pore-free amorphous coating
  • Suitable for High Build-up Applications (>10 Mils), especially required in the petrochemical industry
  • Narrow melting temperature, suitable for brazing and welding
  • Non-magnetic deposit
  • Zero or little compressive internal stress

ADVANTAGES

No electricity is required for ENP which makes it more accurate, efficient, and cost-effective.

Uniformity, hardness, and high corrosion/wear resistance make it ideal for the parts or components that function under extreme environmental conditions.

Plating with highphos ENP can often eliminate the need for machining or polishing due to its good surface finish and uniform thickness distribution.

The lack of porosity, due to its amorphous nature also adds to its strength and makes it an obvious choice for a heavy-duty finish.

Highphos ENP provides large flexibility of thickness and volume of plating on metal/conducting surfaces. It can easily fill recesses or pits on the metal surfaces. This allows its application in a wider variety of parts of industrial applications including oil field valves, valve pumps, driveshafts, electrical/mechanical tools, and engineering equipment, etc.

SUBSTRATES

  • Aluminium & its alloy
  • Brass
  • Copper Alloys
  • Stainless Steel
  • Tool Steel

APPLICATIONS

  • Petrochemical Industry
  • Aerospace Industries
  • Hydraulics
  • Tools and engineering instruments
  • Food processing & Medical Instruments
  • Automobile industry

By- Dr. Haritosh Mishra

How Choosing The Right Lubricant Can Reduce Equipment Costs?

Lubricants are largely used in industries.  Lubricants are substances that are used to reduce friction between surfaces. Different types of lubricants are used to improve the performance of machines and make the machines effective.   Lubricants help to reduce the wear and tear of machines and equipments, they reduce the maintenance cost and help in the smooth functioning of the machine.  Lubricants elongate the lifespan of the machines.   

Everything You Need To Know About Pipe Coating

Pipe coating is very important to keep the pipes safe from external factors like corrosion by air or moisture and safe from external contaminants like chemicals and toxic substances.  Pipe coating is very effective and makes the pipes strong and successful in transmitting oils, gases, water and other fluids. The coating protects and safeguards the pipes. Coated pipes are durable and strong.  Pipe coating is reasonable and helps to strengthen the pipes and make them long-lasting.  Coated pipes require less maintenance.   Pipe coating prevents the pipes against corrosion that otherwise damages the pipes.  Coated pipes have a great capacity are hugely in demand.   

Importance of Industrial Lubricants in India

The Indian lubricant industry has recently opened up new markets. The strong growth in India’s energy, engineering, and automotive sectors is a boon for lubricant manufacturers. In the automotive sector, as consumers migrate to efficient vehicles and motorcycles, they use higher quality lubricants. As a result, multigrade lubricant products benefit. The automotive lubricants market in India is very expensive and the growth in volume has been slowed by long term lubricants.

How to Choose The Right Lubricant Companies in India?

Did you know that choosing the right lubricant supplier for your machine guarantees the operational success of your company? Well, the majority are unaware of this fact. Keep in mind that if you are one of them, choosing the right supplier will give you the best results. However, there are so many lubricant sources that it is difficult to find the best source. The introduction of new suppliers was a major cause of failure. Therefore, selecting the right supplier is not everyone’s tea.