Electroless nickel plating is the name given to the controlled chemical process whereby a thin layer of metal is bonded to another material to protect it from corrosion and wear, to increase its strength, and to make it more durable. Prior to the invention of this process, nickel plating was conducted using an electrical charge.
Nickel is usually selected for its natural corrosion-resistant properties. It is also a very strong metal with good adhesion properties, which makes it ideally suited to the purpose of electroplating or electroless nickel plating.
History of nickel plating
Electroplating was first pioneered by an Italian chemist named Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli in the early 19th century, with the process refined by scientists over the following decades to enhance the appearance of sculptures and artwork and to coat the surfaces of medical devices to improve their durability and resistance to corrosion.
The move to electroless nickel plating came about during the mid-20th century when a desire was expressed for greater uniformity in the nickel plating process and the ability to upscale manufacturing to achieve reliable bulk plating with increased corrosion resistance.
Companies such as https://www.poeton.co.uk/standard-treatments/electroless-nickel-plating have continued to refine and enhance the process, developing a safe and repeatable process that delivers predictable results in bulk manufacturing.
Since its earliest inception, the nickel plating process has become commonplace in the aerospace and automotive industries, in consumer electronics, and in jewellery and art. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a world in which nickel plating does not exist as a way to protect less resilient metals from corrosion and wear. Thanks to the efforts of early scientists and the continued refinement of their discoveries and processes ever since, modern nickel plating is now a safe and extremely effective industrial process.