There are several critical benefits to the choice of zinc nickel electroplating in the finishing of parts. These are particularly important for the automotive industry, where high temperatures, exposure to water and humidity and even exposure to salt and chemicals from the road can all create excessive corrosion using other plating methods.
For similar reasons, the process of zinc nickel electroplating is also used in aerospace parts. It offers top adhesion as well as offers a boost to metal fatigue parameters, creating stronger and more reliable parts in any type of critical component and application.
To understand the full benefits of this electroplating process, a closer look at the benefits of this finishing is helpful.
The choice of zinc nickel electroplating is ideal for many different types of metals including iron, high carbon steel, and carbo-nitrided steel alloys. The carbo-nitrided alloys are typically the low carbon steels that go through the carbonitriding process to develop a harder surface that is resistant to wear.
The result of the electroplating process is a very high level of corrosion resistance, even in the extreme types of operating conditions. As a sacrificial coating, any scratches or damage to the surface is minimized as the zinc nickel is first to corrode, protecting the base metal.
The choice of zinc nickel over zinc or zinc iron electroplating provides the highest level of hardness possible through electroplating. Depending on the specifics of the process, part and alloy, this can be up to two times harder than standard zinc plating.
This hardness factor also translates into a surface that is highly resistant to scratches. With limited surface damage, parts are better protected and last longer, an important consideration in any industry.
While zinc nickel plating is more costly than zinc plating, it is the go-to option in many industries. The superior corrosion resistance, hardness and extended duty cycles of parts make up for the slight cost difference.