When it comes to electroplating, there are various different metals and metal alloys you can choose, but when it comes to the automotive industry, zinc nickel is a very popular choice.
Here’s a bit of information on how zinc nickel electroplating works and why it’s such a great option for cars and other vehicles.
Zinc Nickel Electroplating How Does It Work?
By co-depositing zinc and nickel at a specific ratio (nominally 15% nickel) the resulting coating offer a very high level of corrosion resistance (up to 1000 hours in a salt spray test).
Additionally unlike traditional zinc plating, this alloy can be used in aluminium assemblies without causing a galvanic cell which increases the rate of corrosion of both the aluminium and the zinc plating. For this reason zinc nickel has replaced cadmium in the aerospace industry.
There are also several post-treatments available for zinc nickel – including oils, sealants, lacquers and passivates – that will enhance the corrosion protection qualities of the metal even further.
How Is It Used In The Automotive Industry?
Zinc nickel electroplating is often used in the automotive industry, and its use has actually increased over the past few years. Why? Well, zinc nickel plating actually improves an item’s protection from corrosion, something which is obviously extremely useful when it comes to cars and other vehicles.
Whereas zinc plating has always offered corrosion protection for metals used in automotive applications (such as under the bonnets of cars), the alloys – such as zinc nickel – have been found to work better in certain situations.
This is because the alloy slows the corrosion rate even more as it becomes more noble than just zinc on its own. Not only can zinc nickel stand up to corrosion, but it is also resistant to high temperatures, making it perfect for that under the bonnet use.
The market for this type of plating is vastly taken up by the automotive industry (it actually accounts for 75% of zinc nickel plating demands), while the aerospace industry accounts for around 20%.
Zinc nickel plated components has helped the automotive industry increase its warranty periods to 5 and in some cases 7 years.
Finding The Best Zinc Nickel Electroplating Services
Zinc nickel plating is used to a great extent in Europe (Asia also uses this type of alloy plating a lot, with it gradually becoming more popular in North America), and because of this there are many companies offering to carry out your electroplating needs.
With so many options, it can be difficult to decide who to choose, but if you’re located in the midlands, the Birmingham-based E.C. Williams can provide you with specialist knowledge, extensive experience, and state of the art equipment, meaning you can leave your electroplating requirements in the hands of people who really know what they’re doing; as the company was founded in 1921, they’ve definitely had a lot of practice in this area.