Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless Nickel Plating

This plating technique prevents corrosion and wear, and the coating covers even the most complicated shapes uniformly. It is perfect for complex molds, dies, and tooling.

United Surface Finishing offers 3 kinds of electroless nickel plating: high-phosphorous, medium-phosphorous and our proprietary USF-Excel electroless nickel process.


How It Works

Electroless nickel plating is an auto-catalytic reaction used to deposit a coating of nickel on a substrate. Unlike electrolytic nickel and electroplating, it is not necessary to pass an electrical current through the solution to form a deposit.


Electroless Nickel Vs Hard Chrome Plating

In the long run, electroless nickel plating may be a better choice than chrome for applications that require high corrosion resistance or parts that feature intricate geometries. In addition, our USF-Excel process can provide nearly the same level of durability and extended life as industrial hard chrome.

An electroless nickel finish is often regarded as more visually appealing, and it offers a smaller environmental impact than chrome. United Surface Finishing can help you determine which metal plating process will provide you with the most long term value.


We can plate to the following specifications

AMS 2405
AMS 2404

Substrates for Electroless Nickel Plating

  • Aluminum, for which we have a dedicated line
  • Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper
  • Most base metals

Finishes and Options

  • Satin
  • Matte
  • Ground
  • Polished
  • Honed
  • RA (2 and above)

The above finishes are achieved by special pre-plate processes specific to the customer’s request and application.

Performance Porosity Expectation*

USF Excel Neutral Salt Spray per ASTM B117

Process & Base NSS HRS
Medium Phosphorus (5.5-9% P) 7-12 microns, average base 24-72
>25 microns, average base 48-120
7-12 microns, good base 72-168
High Phosphorus (>10% P) 25-50 microns, average base 240-750
>50 microns, good base to 1,000+


*Note: All operating parameters optimized, all Neutral Salt Spray on properly prepared panels with proper angles in salt spray cabinet. Performance on parts can be variable as significant surfaces change.


Our Production Capabilities

From our modern 35,000-square-foot facility in Canton, Ohio, we provide plating services to customers across the United States. Our Electroless Nickel production capabilities include:

  • Ni: 3 tons
  • EN Tanks – 42” x 72” x 60” deep (some of the largest in NE Ohio)
  • Ni stripping

From start to finish, we understand that every step of the production process is critical to achieving the standards both we and our customers expect. That is why we can also provide pre- and post-plating services such as abrasive blasting, buffing and polishing, centerless belt-sanding, and stripping. See our Extended Services for a complete list.


For several years, a major U.S. rebuilder of molds and dies turned to United Surface Finishing to chrome plate their dies and molds. But when we developed USF-Excel, a proprietary low-phosphorus nickel plating solution, we realized that we could better serve our long-term client by suggesting that they switch to nickel.

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High Phosphorous

Physical Appearance
Phosphorous Content (wgt%)
Rockwell 'C' HK (100) As Plated
Rockwell 'C' Heat Treated
Corrosion Resistance/Protection
Salt Spray (ASTM B-117) hrs @25.4 microns
Magnetic Properties

Medium Phosphorous

Physical Appearance
Phosphorous Content (wgt%)
Rockwell 'C' HK (100) As Plated
Rockwell 'C' Heat Treated
Corrosion Resistance/Protection
Salt Spray (ASTM B-117) hrs @25.4 microns
Magnetic Properties

Not Just Products and Parts, but Solutions and Strategies

We provide a superior finish to every part you entrust to us. But we also relish opportunities to think strategically about product development and unique finishing requests.

Come See Our Facility; Leave with an Education

All the website content in the world cannot compete with actually seeing our work in person. Stop by for a tour of our facility and our brand new Education Center.

2202 Gilbert Avenue NE, Canton, Ohio 44705

Defining Value. Delivering Quality. Developing Solutions.