Zinc Nickel Plating – Providing Corrosion Protection

by | Feb 12, 2016 | Metal, Metals

Zinc nickel plating is a process used to provide superior corrosion resistance to metal parts, most commonly in the automotive industry for the various metal components used, such as bearings, where regular zinc plating does not offer enough protection. This type of plating is versatile and in addition to protecting steel, it can be used to protect metals such as cast iron, copper, brass, and malleable iron, making it an applicable solution for protection in a variety of industries.

What is Zinc Nickel Plating?
This process is a type of electroplating used to apply an acid coating to metal for protection. Electroplating is the process of plating one metal onto another through hydrolysis. Plating is used for protection as well as for decorative purposes to give the component a pleasing appearance. In order to achieve this type of alloy, zinc-nickel is typically plated from an alkaline electrolyte. The preferred alloy composition for zinc-nickel plating is 12-15% nickel, with a remainder of zinc. This type of alloy offers substantial sacrificial corrosion, meaning it protects the metal surface it is plated on by corroding first before the metal surface underneath corrodes.

This specific type of plating that can be used as a replacement to cadmium electroplating in certain applications. Electroplated cadmium is a soft white metal that is applied to steel and other types of metal to avoid corrosion of parts in industries such as aerospace. Both are effective coatings in protecting against corrosion, but zinc nickel plating can be used for galvanic interaction applications, where it is more effective than the cadmium plating process.

Benefits of Using Zinc Nickel Plating on Your Metal Components
This type of plating offers a coating that is sacrificial, meaning that it will corrode before the base material corrodes, even after thermal shock. Zinc-nickel also offer equal or better protection that cadmium coating.

This type of plating is also very efficient and economical by offering effective corrosion protection for parts that are subject to wear and tear, lessening the need and frequency of replacing parts which in turn saves your company money. The deposits of this type of plating are also bright, uniform, and accept passivates like clear and black. In addition, it offers great coverage and uniform distribution of plates for a pleasing appearance.

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