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Electroless nickel plating is primarily used because of its excellent
corrosion protection. The electroless process deposits a uniform
coating, regardless of the shape of the part, unlike electroplating that
relies on current density. Electroless nickel coatings have good wear
resistance because of the high hardness and natural lubricity.  
Relatively soft substrates with poor abrasion resistance, such as
aluminum, can be given a hard, wear-resistant surface with electroless

Electroless nickel plating is applied evenly over all geometries and is
an excellent coating, providing corrosion protection and friction
reduction.  When used for repair, it can be plated to size with out re-
machining in many circumstances. This is useful if the thickness
required is less than .002” per side.  The illustration shows the
difference between electroplating and electroless plating.  Electroless
nickel is also useful to plate down inside tubes and deep bores where
hard chrome cannot.   
Electroless Nickel Plating
Medium Phosphorus – Most widely used electroless nickel bath.  Porosity is low,
and conversely corrosion resistance is higher than low phosphorus. Better wear
resistance and hardness compared to high phosphorus. Excellent for molds and
dies as well as chemical handling equipment.

High Phosphorus – Dense and dull in comparison to medium and low deposits.
Provides the best corrosion resistance, but is not as hard as the lower phosphorus

More Information...
The Total EN Solution
Choosing the best electroless nickel process for the application
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Electroless Nickel
Deposit properties, specifications and applications