Nickel Plating Process

October 4, 2023

It’s what’s inside that matters. That’s how the saying goes, right? But when it comes to hose couplings, valves, and fittings, the outside is important too.

Fittings can be manufactured from a variety of materials such as steel, brass, and aluminum. The surface of a part doesn’t stop there, though. Parts can also be plated with nickel or another metal to enhance the overall appearance and lifespan. Let’s take a look at the nickel-plating process and why it is important in industrial applications.

What is Nickel Plating?

Nickel plating is the process of applying a thin layer of nickel to the surface of a metal to change its physical properties. Depending on the application, nickel can be applied to copper, aluminum, steel, brass, zinc, and plastic.

There are two types of nickel plating: electrolytic and electroless. Electrolytic plating uses an electric current to coat an object with a thin layer of nickel. The part being plated is placed in a bath with a conductive base and positively charged nickel. An external electrical current is added to the solution and the electricity charges the nickel, causing the release of ions that attach to the surface of the part.

Electroless plating uses a chemical reaction instead of an electric current. The surface being plated is cleaned and prepped with chemical treatments and then submerged in a solution of nickel-phosphorus. The nickel ions in the solution are reduced to metallic nickel which is applied to the surface. With electroless nickel plating, it is easy to apply uniform layers of nickel regardless of the part geometry.



Benefits of Nickel Plating

While nickel plating can enhance the appearance of parts by giving them a bright finish, the real benefits of nickel plating are more practical and centered around longevity. Nickel plating enhances corrosion resistance against materials such as acids, salt water, solvents, and more. In addition, nickel plating is ideal to increase wear resistance when exposed to moisture, varying temperatures, and other harsh conditions.

Nickel Plating Applications

Nickel plating is used in a wide range of industries due to its versatility.

Nickel plating provides corrosion resistance and enhances the aesthetic of engine parts, fuel systems, electrical connectors, and decorative trim.

Aerospace and Aviation
Nickel plating improves the durability of aerospace and aviation components such as turbine blades, landing gear, fasteners, and fuel system parts. 

Due to its conductivity and corrosion resistance, nickel-plated parts are used to manufacture electrical contacts, connectors, and semiconductor components.

Medical Devices
Surgical instruments, implants, orthopedic devices, dental tools, and other medical equipment commonly utilize nickel plating.

Oil and Gas
Valves, pumps, connectors, and other tools and equipment in the oil and gas industry are frequently exposed to corrosive fluids and high temperatures. Nickel plating helps enhance the longevity of these parts.

Dixon's Nickel-Plated Products

Dixon offers a variety of nickel-plated products to ensure you have The Right Connection® for your application.

conical muffler_cmf88
Conical Muffler
Made from nickel-plated steel, conical mufflers are easy to install by threading the exhaust ports of air tools, valves, cylinders, and other pneumatic equipment onto the muffler. The muffler offers an economical method of reducing noise levels below 90 bDA, conforming with OSHA standards.

breakaway nickel plated body
Dixon Breakaways
Dixon breakaways provide breakaway protection for high-capacity fueling operations such as truck and bus terminals, mining, off-road fueling, and fuel oil delivery. The 1-1/4", 1-1/2", 2" sizes are constructed with a nickel-plated aluminum body.
Nickel-Plated Brass Legris Push-In Fittings
These push-to-connect forged fittings are nickel-plated and have an FKM seal making them suitable to use with liquids or gaseous fluids. The fittings are plated with a high phosphorous FDA nickel plate allowing them to be used in applications where exposure to harsh environments is present. Applications include the food industry, packaging, robotics, pulp and paper, and washdown.
BR-Series Pneumatic Couplings
The BR-series pneumatic coupling's machined components are manufactured using solid brass bar stock and plated with chrome-over nickel plating. BR-series couplings are compatible with Rectus 21KA, Tomco Series SC, and CEJN Series 223. The nitrile rubber seals have a standard temperature range of -40°F to 250°F (-40°C to 121°C) and a pressure rating of 300 PSI. Other quick disconnects can also be nickel-plated upon request.


Nickel plating is an important aspect of manufacturing. Nickel-plated parts provide corrosion and wear resistance, which promote longevity. Dixon is committed to delighting customers and providing high-quality products built to last. Whether it is brass, steel, or aluminum, we offer a variety of nickel-plated products to meet your needs. In addition to the products listed above, nickel-plated parts can also be completed as specials. Visit or contact us at 877.963.4966 for more information.