Iron and steel metals, despite their strength, are prone to oxidization (rust formation). As rust sets in, the metals corrode, fatigue, and break down. To slow the oxidation process and make the metal parts last longer, zinc is used as an agent to coat them. In fact, almost half of all the zinc mined is used in the iron and steel galvanizing process.
However, zinc alone provides only 100 HV of hardness which is fairly soft and not durable enough for today’s demand for high corrosion protection. Adding nickel to zinc resulted in a mixture with a far superior strength of 400 HV. The increase in strength alone would have been sufficient for nickel-zinc plating coat to become the standard in the metal industry, but the alloy also has other benefits.
Excellent resistance to corrosion
Zinc nickel plating provides great resistance to corrosion. The coat produces corrosion resistance of 250 hours to the first sign of white corrosion and 1,000 hours to the appearance of red corrosion. These properties appeal to producers of various metal products, from simple fasteners all the way to producers of heavy machinery. With such a wide spectrum of applications, zinc nickel plating is fast replacing the much more expensive cadmium plating.
Excellent resistance to heat
In the car manufacturing industry, the brake components castings require baking and exposure to high temperatures in the manufacturing process. The zinc nickel plating coat can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees for four hours, making it a good choice to preserve brake parts from rust resulting in higher quality cars.
Excellent undercoat in powder coat finishes
Zinc nickel plating provides a smooth coat over the metal parts and can be used as an anti-corrosion treatment before a powder coat, or paint finish is applied.
Excellent for use on threaded parts
Another great benefit of using zinc nickel plating is that it forms a thin and uniform coat over the surface that requires protection. It is particularly useful on threaded parts, like screws and sockets, as well as parts that require precise dimensions.
Zinc nickel plating creates a unique compound that is far more rust resistant than zinc plating alone. In fact, any industry that demands a high corrosion resistance can benefit from using zinc nickel plating to reduce rusting and increase the quality of their product offerings.
If you’re looking to protect your steel products and auto parts with zinc nickel plating, DeKalb Metal Finishing has you covered. To learn more about zinc nickel plating, contact us today.