Electroless Deposition

The course consists of 11 lessons. Each one contains a wealth of valuable, practical information. And if you score 70 or above on the optional exam, you’ll receive 1 credit toward certification as a Master Surface Finisher. MSF is the world’s most respected – and most widely recognized – designation for finishing industry professionals. Those passing 6 course exams earn the coveted MSF designation.

Course Options

  • Home-Study

    Tuition: $1100 | Member Tuition: $800

  • Optional Exam

    Tuition: $250 | Member Tuition: $150

  • Who Benefits

    This training program is beneficial for employees and supervisors working in both captives and job shops performing electroless nickel plating. Line operators, managers, sales representatives and engineers who work in job shop or captive shop electroplating, or in the airline / aerospace industry will benefit from this training program.


    The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to electroless nickel plating on a variety of substrates.

  • At the conclusion of this course, attendees should:


    • Understand the properties of electroless nickel deposits.
    • Understand and specify equipment used for electroless nickel plating.
    • Know the cleaning/preparation processes for a wide range of substrates that are electroless nickel plated.
    • Have a stronger knowledge of the chemistry of electroless nickel deposition processes, including EN-P and EN-B.
    • Know the impact of operational variables on the electroless nickel deposit.
    • Be aware of common problems with the electroless nickel plating process.
    • Have a basic understanding of how electroless deposition is used in plating on plastics.
    • Understand other electroless deposition processes, such as cobalt, copper, and gold.
    • Be prepared to take the examination, which is part of the Foundation MSF certification program.

Course Description

1. Overview of Electroless Nickel Plating
This lesson presents an overview of electroless processes, including a brief history and types of deposits available, including nickel-phosphorus, nickel-boron, composites and poly alloys. Substrate limitations and activation methods are also presented.
2. Properties of Electroless Nickel Deposits
This lesson covers the mechanical properties of electroless nickel deposits, focusing on developing maximum hardness and wear resistance. Other properties such as corrosion resistance, magnetic properties, solderability and weldability are also discussed.
3. Equipment for Electroless Nickel Plating
This lesson details the equipment used for electroless deposition. Included is a discussion of tank materials, tank liners, methods of temperature control, energy conservation, pumps, filters, piping, racking and agitation. A brief description of automated chemistry control is also included.
4. Pre- and Post-plate Processing in Electroless Nickel Plating, Part 1
This lesson covers the various methods of preparing metallic substrates for electroless deposition. Base metals such as zinc, titanium and molybdenum, and powder metallurgy covered in part 2. Also discussed is the preparation of non-metallic substrates, masking, stripping, and post-plate heat treating procedures.
5. Pre- and Post-plate Processing in Electroless Nickel Plating, Part 2
This lesson covers the methods for preparing metallic substrates for electroless deposition. Base metals such as zinc, titanium and molybdenum, as well as powder metallurgy, are covered in this lesson. Also discussed is the preparation of non-metallic substrates, along with masking, stripping, and post-plate heat treating processes.
6. Electroless Nickel Plating Solutions
This lesson provides the chemical formulations for electroless nickel solutions and describes the role of key ingredients. Also included is a discussion of WEEE and RoHS ramifications.
7. EN Operating Variables
Operational conditions that can affect the quality of the electroless nickel deposit are detailed in this lesson. Topics incluse the role of pH, ingredient concentrations, temperature, impurities, stabilizers, complexers, and accelerants in both Ni-P and Ni-B systems.
8. Troubleshooting EN Plating Solutions
The causes and cures for operational problems such as pitting, poor adhesion, poor appearance, skip plating, high internal stress, slow deposition rate, bath instability and poor corrosion resistance are among the topics in this lesson.
9. Quality Control for EN
This lesson details the most common methods for maintaining control of an electroless nickel plating process. Instrumental methods of analysis, testing of deposit properties, alloy determination, hydrogen embrittlement, thickness testing, accelerated corrosion testing, and porosity tests are included in this lesson.
10. Electroless Deposition on Plastics
This lesson provides a basic understanding of how plastics are processed and electroless nickel plated
to achieve a conductive surface for the application of other plated deposits. Covered topics include the use of etchants, neutralizers and activation systems. Troubleshooting each of these steps is also discussed.
11. Electroless Deposition of Gold & Cobalt
This lesson provides information on electroless deposition methods for producing gold deposits
using borohydride, sulfite and trivalent-cyanide-based solutions. The remainder of this lesson provides guidance for electroless deposition of cobalt and cobalt based alloys.