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Nickel-plated - practicality and beauty

We like beautiful nickel plated surface of various parts used for exterior finishes of automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, appliances, household items, and a variety of things. But few of those who see reflected in these attractive things, I think about how this effect is achieved. And there is nothing particularly difficult — it uses nickel, or electrochemical deposition of a thin layer of nickel with an object placed in a special solution, and passing electric current through it.

For the thin, smooth and durable layer of nickel (up to a few hundredths of a millimeter thick), various electrolytes, aqueous solutions, anyway containing nickel ions. By passing a current through the electrolyte, the nickel ions tend toward the negative electrode (anode), on which are deposited a thin layer. Now it is clear that, if used as an electrode in need of coated steel product, the nickel is deposited on it — that this, indeed, is the nickel-plating technology.

However, it turned out that the nickel film is not the best way adheres to the surface of the steel product, and this layer often has microscopic pores that nullifies its anti-corrosion properties. This problem is easily solved by applying a thin layer of steel copper, nickel and already deposited on this layer. That is currently being produced nickel. However, often in the nickel coating is applied to a very thin layer of chromium, which greatly improves both the aesthetic and physical quality of steel products.


But it must be said that beauty — a «side effect» of the layer of nickel. The first film of nickel protects items from chemically aggressive environments (which prevents corrosion), so that the electrochemical deposition of nickel from aqueous electrolyte solutions undergo chemical ware, medical instruments and other items used in laboratories.

Strength, beauty, practicality and a reasonable price — nickel achieves all this without excessive costs. But once this was not impossible.

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