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Electroless Nickel Plating of Heat Exchangers


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This is a short presentation covering the insitu Electroless Nickel Platings of Heat Exchangers and Reaction Vessels.

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Electroless Nickel Plating of Heat Exchangers

  1. 1. Electroless Nickel PlatingElectroless nickel plating was developed in the late 40’s early 50’s.It is used today in areasrequiring uniform plating, high corrosion resistance and high abrasion resistance.Electroless nickel plating is an auto-catalytic reaction used to deposit a coating of nickel on asubstrate. Unlike electroplating, it is not necessary to pass an electric current through the solutionto form a deposit. This plating technique used is to prevent corrosion and wear rather thanaesthetics.Electroless nickel plating has several advantages versus electroplating. Free from flux-density andpower supply issues, it provides an even deposit regardless of work piece geometry asdemonstrated in the diagram belowConventional Electroless nickel plating involves numerous heated pre-treatment and activationbaths, followed by one or more plating bath and then rinsing baths. The items for plating areprogressively immersed in each bath. This process severely limits the size and types of items thatcan be plated and as such only smaller components are generally plated with EN.
  2. 2. Conventional Electroless Nickel Plating Typical EN plating setup of 10 bathsNitric acid used for striping and activation
  3. 3. Insitu Electroless Nickel PlatingTechcoat Services can Electroless Nickel Plate tanks and reaction vessels with Hi-Phos ElectrolessNickel offering outstanding corrosion resistance and overall durability. This plating can offer a far morecost effective lining to that of inconel cladding. Each plating job is individually designed andcompleted. Electroless Nickel Plating is vastly superior to electroplating and is used extensivelythroughout the Oil & Gas and Resources industries in the most aggressive exposures (down hole oilpipeline fittings). Until now works have been limited to smaller workshop applied items.Techcoat Services has developed processes to plate Road Tankers, Reaction Vessels and StorageTanks.This process is completed insitu, without the need for Nitric acid surface activation, pre-treatment orpost-treatment baths. The entire process is completed within the vessel being plated.
  4. 4. Insitu Electroless Nickel Plating & the Alumina IndustryElectroless Nickel Plating (EN) offers many benefits to the Alumina Industry, EN has the following properties: Outstanding corrosion and abrasion resistance Inherently antiscale surface Low coefficient of friction High surface hardness, further improved with post heat treatment Outstanding resistance to thermal shock Internally non stressed and chemically bonded to the surface Very high temperature resistance Very good heat transfer
  5. 5. Insitu Electroless Nickel Plating of Heat ExchangersElectroless Nickel Plating (EN) of heat exchangers would offer comparable heat transfer to that ofnormal tubing, reduced rates of scaling and resistance to periodic acid descaling. This combinationof properties potentially results in Heat Exchangers that once plated do not need retubing (as aresult of corrosion/loss of wall thickness from acid descaling). The EN is highly resistant to corrosionand any loss of metal due to acid washing would be the nickel and not the underlying steel and at afar reduced rate to that of steel. The EN can be reapplied to reinstate its original thickness and thuseliminate the need for retubing.
  6. 6. EN on Heat Exchangers Comparable heat transfer to that if unplated steel Improved flow and production (due to reduced rates of scaling) Reduced cleaning costs (both in frequency and duration)Elimination of retubing costs (both in terms of lost production and maintenancecosts) Retubing replaced by less frequent and more cost effective EN replating
  7. 7. Insitu Electroless Nickel Plating
  8. 8. Insitu Electroless Nickel Plating