Why is Zinc Nickel Electroplating Used on Parts for Rubber to Metal Bonding?

Zinc-nickel electroplating is commonly used on parts for rubber to metal bonding due to its excellent corrosion resistance and compatibility with rubber adhesion. Here are a few reasons why zinc-nickel electroplating is favored in such applications:

  1. Corrosion Resistance: Zinc-nickel alloy coatings offer superior corrosion resistance compared to other plating options like pure zinc or cadmium. The alloy’s composition, typically containing 12-15% nickel, provides enhanced protection against corrosion, even in harsh environments. This makes it an ideal choice for parts that may be exposed to moisture, chemicals, or other corrosive elements.
  2. Adhesion Compatibility: Rubber-to-metal bonding requires a strong bond between the rubber material and the metal substrate. Zinc-nickel electroplating creates a surface that promotes excellent adhesion with rubber compounds. The coating’s microstructure, along with the presence of nickel, provides a textured and slightly rough surface that enhances the bonding strength between the rubber and the metal substrate.
  3. Wear Resistance: Zinc-nickel coatings exhibit good wear resistance properties, which are advantageous for parts subjected to friction or mechanical stress. The coating can withstand the wear and tear that may occur during the rubber-to-metal bonding process or subsequent usage, ensuring long-lasting performance and durability.
  4. Value for Quality: Zinc-nickel electroplating provides a balance between performance, corrosion resistance, and affordability, making it a practical value for quality choice for a wide range of applications in comparison to some other plating options. For example, quality zinc-nickel plating of automotive parts that can endure friction wear resistance tests becomes a value choice because it can mean the difference between longevity of a part or a recall of a car for an automotive company.
  5. Environmental Considerations: For post treatment of Zinc Nickel Alloy for protection and often colors in the electroplating process, DeKalb Metal uses trivalent chrome passivate in the bath chemistry which is considered 500 times less toxic than hexavalent chrome chromates. Additionally, for dozens of years, zinc-nickel has been considered a safer and more sustainable option to other materials like cadmium—which has comparable corrosion resistance properties—making zinc-nickel a viable, less toxic choice.

Overall, zinc-nickel electroplating combines corrosion resistance, adhesion compatibility, wear resistance, value for quality, and environmental benefits, making it a preferred choice for parts used in rubber-to-metal bonding applications.

Why is DeKalb Metal Finishing Considered the Rubber-to-Metal Bonding Experts?

The staff at DeKalb Metal Finishing are considered experts in both zinc (Zn) and zinc nickel (ZnNi) electroplating for rubber-to-metal bonding because of decades in the industry and trial-and-error testing that led us to know what chemistry works best for automotive parts and their adhesion specifications. We know what works while our competitors struggle to figure out what does not work.

Give us a call to discuss your rubber-to-metal bonding parts and how we can best provide a quality plating finish for your needs.

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