Electroless Nickel

Surface Coatings has been providing electroless nickel coatings since 1976. We are able to apply electroless nickel to steel, hardened tool steel, brass, copper, beryllium copper, most types of aluminum, stainless steel and various nickel alloys, including Inconel. Our electroless nickel platers have many, many years of experience dealing with all types of substrates. At Surface Coatings, we can supply low phosphorous(1-4%), mid phosphorous(5-9%) or high phosphorous(10-13%) electroless nickel. All of our electroless nickel is RoHS compliant. See our Services List for the various sizes of parts we can handle. Currently, we do not supply any electroless nickel-boron coatings.


We have been applying black electroless nickel since the mid 80’s. Black electroless nickel has all the advantages of electroless nickel except that it is black instead of the normal silvery color of nickel. When applying black electroless nickel, you must allow for a minimum thickness of .0005″ thick.


Excellent corrosion resistance – depending on the percentage of phosphorous and thickness, can be up to 1000 hrs. in a salt spray test. Unlike cadmium or zinc, electroless nickel is not a sacrificial coating, i.e. the coating corrodes before the basis metal. Electroless nickel, because of it’s low porosity, encapsulates the basis metal. Corrosion rates are effected by a number of factors outside the control of the plater, such as the surface finish of the basis metal and the porosity of the basis metal

Superior hardness – as plated, mid phosphorous electroless nickel is around 55 on the Rockwell C scale. After heat treatment, which we perform, this can be brought up to 65 – 70 on the Rockwell C scale. As plated, low phosphorous electroless nickel is around 60 on the Rockwell C scale and after heat treatment, it can be brought up to 68 – 70 on the Rockwell C scale. In most applications, both types of electroless nickel prove to be an excellent alternative to hard chrome.

Uniformity of deposit – because electroless nickel is an auto-catalytic process, i.e. no electrical current involved, there is no edge build-up on high current density areas. Once again, this is a major advantage over hard chromium plating. On deposits up to .004″ thick, a tolerance of +/- .0001″ thick can generally be held. In many applications, this eliminates the necessity of after plate grinding.

Great wearability and anti-galling characteristics – because of it’s inherent lubricity and superior hardness, electroless nickel is very effective in many sliding wear applications. This ability is further enhanced by using our SURFCOAT (electroless nickel with PTFE) coating.


  • Food processing equipment manufacturers
  • Valve industry
  • Plastic tools & dies
  • Semiconductor equipment manufacturers
  • Electronics industry
  • Custom assembly equipment manufacturers
  • Machine shops
  • Sheet metal fabricators
  • Screw machine shops
  • Fastener manufacturers
  • Automotive equipment manufacturers
  • Hand tool manufacturers
  • Medical products manufacturers
  • Laser equipment manufacturers

Click Here to get started