The as-plated film has a hardness of 500-600 Vickers (45 – 54 Rockwell C Equivalence). This can be increased by heat treatment up to, for suitable substrates, around 1000 Vickers.
Similar to high grade stainless steel
The Electroless Nickel Plating surface has a natural lubricity which, in combination with the hardness, makes it ideal for applications where wear and abrasion resistance are essential. It is best used in combination with dissimilar surfaces e.g. chromium or stainless steel. Sliding contact between ENP surfaces should be avoided.
Electroless Nickel Plating has excellent solderability and is used to confer this property on other metals. For the best results the film should be relatively fresh and an appropriate flux should be used.
BRAZING AND WELDING
Numerous substrates can be brazed if they are given an Electroless Nickel Plating surface. Welding is not recommended, as the phosphorous tends to migrate toward grain boundaries, causing cracking.
Many metals can be Electroless Nickel Plating plated including iron and steel, aluminium alloys, brass, bronze, copper, stainless steel and nickel itself. It is also possible to plate titanium and magnesium and processes have been developed to plate plastics. There is usually no difficulty associated with Electroless Nickel Plating on castings.