Nickel is a natural metallic element with a color of shiny silver-white that has been used for about 2,000 years. It was not until the 18th century that nickel was identified as an element and was later widely used in electroplating and alloys. Stainless steel was discovered in the early 20th century, in which nickel played a beneficial role.
Although nickel metal is the most important form of nickel in terms of quantity, nickel compounds also have key uses. The importance of nickel compounds has not been widely recognized, but substances derived from nickel have been used in many industries and are crucial to the daily production of countless products. Most people do not realize the importance of nickel compounds in the use of everyday goods such as automobiles and electronics since they can be converted into metal or other materials or incorporated into the product during production.
Nickel compounds in electroplating
Nickel compounds are widely used for plating metals and coating other substrates such as plastics. Nickel plating can form a unique combination of corrosion resistance and abrasion resistance and provide good adhesion for subsequent coatings. Therefore, nickel is often used as the bottom layer of other coatings (such as chromium).
Nickel plating in the automobile industry
Electroplating is especially important for the automotive industry, where coating solutions are rapidly innovating and nickel is indispensable for safety, long life, and other characteristics. Electroplating on plastics and aluminum ensures key advantages such as aesthetics and durability.
Important electroplating processes include electrolytic zinc-nickel plating and electroless nickel plating. Zinc-nickel plating is especially effective for corrosion protection, such as preventing salt fog corrosion, so it has a high demand for automotive bolts, fasteners, and parts. Similarly, electroless nickel plating is a well-known wear protection process and its applications include hydraulic systems, rotating shafts in various engine parts, parking brakes and automatic transmission.
Nickel plating in the aerospace industry
The aerospace industry has the highest technical requirements for safety and reliability, which adopts strict standards for all materials and coatings and strict maintenance procedures for aircraft parts, and all of which need to be evaluated and tested in detail before use. Nickel-based plating, combined with many unique functional characteristics, plays a very important role in aerospace applications.
Nickel plating in electronic products
Nowadays, we rely on electronic products in almost all aspects. Electronics play a particularly important role in applications where reliability requirements are high and failures can have serious consequences, such as the automotive, aircraft, train and energy industries. The materials used in electronic products must meet the strictest technical requirements. Nickel plating is widely used in electronic parts such as joints, contacts, microprocessors and integrated circuits to ensure functionality and reliability, and it plays a key role in the electronics industry because of the stringent requirements on such parts.
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