Nicocover™

Unique to Electromold Australia is our process Nicocover™ .  Nicocover™ is an Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP) process and as it's name suggests, requires NO electric current to make it plate.  Nicocover™ has a deposit that is one of the most accurate in reproducing surface texture and shape. It is also one of the best corrosion resistant plating processes available today.

On most substrates the deposit is pore free and unlike electrolytic plating, the thickness of electroless deposits are plated evenly over the entire surface even on complex parts. Blind holes, threads, small diameter holes, recesses or internal areas receive the same amount of plating as sharp corners, edges or external surfaces. Therefore, very close tolerances can be maintained and although Nicocover™ deposits can be machined, in 90% of cases machining to size is frequently eliminated.

Some of Nicocover's™ properties include a hardness of between 50 to 70 Rockwell C, excellent lubricity and wear resistance, 100% uniformity, an excellent bond to base materials and a superior corrosion resistance. It may be deposited onto many different materials including, High and Low Carbon Steels, Cast Iron, Aluminium, Copper and Copper Alloys, Brass and Brass Alloys, Nitrided and other hardened Steels, Stainless Steels and many more.  Nicocover complies with AMS-2404, MIL-C-26074, AMS-C-26074

Due to its hardness, lubricity, wear resistance, and uniform deposit thickness, Nicocover™ should be considered whenever there is a need for a hard, smooth, corrosion resistant, and uniformly plated coating.

Some of the advantages of Nicocover™ are:

  • Superior Corrosion Resistance.
  • High hardness. Between 50 to 70 Rockwell C. ( Even on Aluminium )
  • Excellent wear resistance, superior to Hard chrome.
  • Free from porosity, lamination, cracking and other defects.
  • Completely uniform deposit - reproduces the finish of the substrate being plated.
  • Hard surfacing of Aluminium parts and other soft materials.
  • Can easily be soldered.
  • No corner or edge build up.
  • Replaces exotic and more expensive materials.
  • The deposit is ductile so NO chipping or flaking will occur.
  • Self lubricating property, providing excellent release and anti-galling properties.
  • Self polishing surface for moulding operations.
  • Eliminates post machining and minimises handling.
  • Salvages worn or mis-machined parts.
  • Improves equipment performance and reliability.
  • Reduces investment and operating costs.

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CORROSION RESISTANCE
Nicocover™ deposits have greater corrosion and chemical resistant properties than any other surface coating. The low porosity combined with the characteristic uniformity of the deposit and its high inherent corrosion resistance, results in an excellent coating for use in corrosive environments.

ADHESION
Nicocover™ coatings have passed the 180° bend test specified by MIL-C-26074B without any signs of flaking. There will usually be microscopic cracks in the coating parallel to the direction of bending. This cracking is normally not accompanied by flaking and demonstrates that the adhesion and ductility of the coating is greater than most other surface treatments.

THERMAL SHOCK
Nicocover™ coatings have passed the thermal shock test where a sample is heated to 250°C in an oven and quenched in cold water. Under 4x magnification there will be no signs of blistering or loss of adhesion.

PUNCH TEST
Nicocover™ coatings have passed the punch test where a sample is subjected to an indentation made by a spring-loaded centre punch which has a ground point with a 0.2mm radius. There will be no blistering or flaking as the nickel is ductile and will flex with the base material.

HARDNESS
As plated, the Nicocover™ deposit has a hardness of approximately 50 Rockwell C. This can be increased to approximately 70 Rockwell C (1000 Vickers) by heat treating at 350 to 400°C for one hour. This is a very stable form of heat treating as there is no quenching or sudden temperature change involved. Further heating above 400°C tends to reduce the hardness, but at the same time increases the ductility due to the growth in crystal size. A minimum deposit thickness of 0.025mm (.001") is necessary for maximum hardness.

The hardness of electroless nickel coatings can be determined using ASTM B-578 "Micro Hardness Testing of Coatings".

BRIGHTNESS
Nicocover™ deposits duplicate the brightness, texture and finish of the substrate surface 100%. This is critical in the plastic moulding industry on their product areas of the moulds, for restoration work on vintage cars and motor cycles. It is also important to obtain the correct surface finish on parts that are being plated for not only corrosion protection and hard facing but the plating must also look good to enhance their selling properties.

TYPES OF SUBSTRATES
Excellent results have been obtained plating with Nicocover™ on the following substrates : Aluminium Alloys, Copper Alloys, Beryllium, Low Carbon Steels, High Carbon Steel, Cast Iron, Nickel and Nickel-Chrome Alloys, Stainless Steel, Hardened Tool Steels and Nitrided Steels. Some of the above materials do require special pre-treatments.

SPECIFICATIONS
Electroless nickel deposits are covered by MIL-C-26074E entitled "Coatings, Electroless Nickel, Requirements for" and by SAE specifications AMS 2404A and AMS 2405. These specifications spell out the requirements for the final coating and not the requirements of the solution or the process used to obtain the coating. When used in accordance with the operating instructions, electroless nickel solutions will produce electroless nickel deposits which will meet all the requirements of MIL-C-26074B, ASTM B733, ASTM B656, AMS 2404B and AMS 2405.

What Can Be Plated With NICOCOVER™
Nicocover™ deposits have many and varied useful properties which generally are functional as well as decorative. So due to its hardness, lubricity, wear resistance, and uniform deposit thickness, Nicocover™ should be considered whenever there is a need for a hard, smooth, corrosion resistant, and uniformly distributed coating.

Examples of some typical parts that can be plated with Nicocover™ are given below. Naturally, no such list can include all of the possible uses for Nicocover™. At best, such a list can present a cross section of the various uses.

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ENGINEERING

Aluminium Blow Moulding Dies Front End Loaders
Extrusion Dies & Press Screws Hydraulic Rams
Aluminium Machine Parts Labelling Machines
Backhoe Turret Lift equipment
Blow Moulding Dies Moulding Machine Parts
Brass Polyurethane Foam Cup Dies Plastic Injection Moulding Dies
Measuring Equipment Sand Casting Dies and Patterns
Calibrating Equipment
Cast Iron Machine Parts

Cope and Drag Patterns

 

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GENERAL INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS

Air-conditioner Components Bolts (High tensile)
Computer Discs Bearing Journals
Build Up of worn parts Computer Housings
Conveyor Chains Connectors
Decorative Applications Diodes
Dies Drive Mechanism
Dry Cleaning Equipment Heat Sinks
Flow Control Valves Laser Mirrors
Gun Parts Memory Discs

Heating Elements

Microwave Components
Hydraulic Cylinders and Pistons
Printed Circuit Board
Marine Equipment Resistors
Medical Equipment Transistors
Oil Field Drilling Equipment Oil Nozzles
Plastic, Glass and Foundry Moulds
Pneumatic Parts Printing Rollers

 

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GENERAL INDUSTRIAL AVIATION / AEROSPACE

 Aluminium Printing Rollers Flap Guides
Bolts (High tensile) Engine Components
Pumps Gyroscopes
Steel Rollers Missile System Parts
Landing Gear Components

 

CHEMICAL PROCESSING

Butterfly & Ball Valves
Chemical Blending Tanks and Equipment
Filters
Fire Control Pumps (Ships)
Heat Exchangers
Impellers
Pumps, Housings and Impellers
Tubing
Valve Components

 

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 FOOD INDUSTRIES

Bakery Dough Trays Gang Knives
Conveyor Chains & Rollers Slicing Blades
Doughnut Cutters Mixing Blades
Food Presses Pumps
Forming Equipment Valves
Meat Hooks Packaging Equip.
Mixing Bowls Hooks
Steam Trays Presses
Troughs & Rollers

 

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AUTOMOTIVE / RACING

Aluminium Brake Discs Exhaust Pipes
Carburettor Components Extractors
Cylinders Rocker Covers
Differential Pinion Cross Shafts
Dyno Parts Inlet & Exhaust Manifolds
Gears and Gear Assemblies Restoration Parts
Brake Disc Adaptors Bolts (High tensile)
Aluminium Tooth Pulleys Pistons
Racing Car Parts (Aluminium) Turbine Blades
Aluminium Brake Callipers Valves

 

Electromold's technical services are available at all times to ensure that the correct treatment is used for your particular application. Our qualified staff will be please to visit you for any further on site technical support you may need without obigation.

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PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF NICOCOVER™

Phosphorous Content 10.0 to 12.00 Wgt, %
Melting Point (eutectic) 880 to 1400 °C.
Coefficient of Friction, ASTM D-2714 0.3 - 0.4 Dry
Thermal Conductivity 0.0105 to .0135 cal/cm/sec/'C
Electrical Resistivity 50 to 100 micron-cm
Bond Strength (Ring shear method) Carbon Steel 40,000 - 60,000 psi.
Aluminium 15,000 - 35,000 psi.
Magnetic Properties Non Magnetic
Hardness Rockwell C 75 um - 50g load, deposit, steel
As plated 48 R C - 50 R C
Heat Treated @ 1 hr., 400°C 68 R C - 70 R C
Wear Properties Taber Abrasion Wear Test
As plated 15 to 18 mg Wgt
loss /1000 cycles
Heat Treated @ 1 hr., 400°C 3 to 6 mg Wgt
loss /1000 cycles
Corrosion Related Properties Salt Spray Test * (ASTM B 117 or AS2331.3.1)
35°C, 5% NaC1, 25 um deposit.
Hours to first corrosion spot
2024 Aluminium 1000+
1010 Carbon Steel 1000+
Nitric Acid Test Conc. nitric acid 42° Be'
30 sec., room temp. Pass **
25 um, steel
Hydrochloric Acid Test

50% HCl 3 min., room temp. Pass **
25um, steel

 

*Test is performed on a flat panel. More complex or rough parts may show initial spotting in fewer hours. Salt spray test is primarily a porosity test and is only affective as a screening tool to show the differences afforded by alternative processes. It is not, however, a quantitative corrosion test.

** Fail is indicated by any significant discolouration of the deposit.

If you require any further information regarding this process or any of Electromold Australia's plating processes, please contact us on +61 3 9464 0922 and one of our technical staff will be able to assist you.

(Clice Here for PDF Brochure)

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