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Nickel vs Electroless Nickel Coating

Nickel is the most common coating for neodymium magnets, usually applied to the surface of the magnet by electroplating.

An electroless nickel coating, sometimes referred to as a chemical nickel coating, is a type of coating that is applied to the surface of the magnet without the use of an electrical current. Instead, an electroless nickel coating is applied using a chemical bath that deposits the nickel onto the surface of the magnet.

There are a few key differences between a nickel coating and an electroless nickel coating:

  • Method of Application: As mentioned above, a nickel coating is applied using an electrical current, while an electroless nickel coating is applied using a chemical bath.

  • Thickness: Electroless nickel coatings are typically thicker than nickel coatings, which makes them more durable and corrosion resistant.

  • Uniformity: Electroless nickel coatings are known for their uniformity, as they can be applied evenly to without the need for electrical current. Nickel coatings, on the other hand, may be more prone to inconsistencies due to the use of an electrical current.

  • Cost: Electroless nickel coatings are generally more expensive to apply than nickel coatings due to the complex chemical process involved in their application.

Both nickel coatings and electroless nickel coatings are great choices for permanent magnets. If the magnet will be used outdoors, or in a humid environment, we will generally recommend an electroless nickel coating or another corrosion resistant coating such as epoxy or plastic.

Choosing the Right Coating

It can be difficult to select the ideal coating for your specific application due to the numerous factors that can impact a magnet's durability and performance. You can always get in touch with our magnet experts if you have any questions or want assistance selecting the right coating for your project. 


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