Zinc-Nickel Abrasion and Resistant Coating


zinc nickel platingZinc-nickel finishes with a 12-15 % by weight nickel content are widely used in the automotive, aerospace and electronics industries. In automotive applications the coating is used in both interior and exterior applications.

Automotive engineers choose zinc-nickel due to its excellent corrosion and abrasion resistance. This results in the coating retaining its corrosion protection even after handling and assembly operations. An example of this is applications such as door strikers and latches where abrasion resistance is the most important factor.

ZinKlad 1000, the highest level of performance in the MacDermid ZinKlad range of finishes, uses zinc-nickel as the base metallic coating.


Electroplated zinc-nickel coatings demonstrate the following features:

  • Exceptional corrosion resistance for relatively thin coatings
  • Hard coating, good for mechanical resistance properties
  • Suitable for electronic applications such as grounding screws
  • Galvanic compatibility with aluminum
  • Lubricated to modify friction properties

The specific properties of zinc-nickel finishes of corrosion and abrasion resistance, conductivity and adjustable friction make these coatings successful in many applications. Extensively used in the automotive industry, zinc-nickel coatings are also used in aerospace and electronics applications.


In Conclusion

MacDermid continue the development of zinc-nickel coatings to meet today’s industry requirements. Recent technology improvements include increasing electrolyte efficiencies, improving the aesthetics of the zinc-nickel coating and retention of corrosion resistance after post-plate deformation.

Additionally, development work includes cobalt-free trivalent passivation systems and lubricants to deliver friction properties for specific applications such as fasteners used in multiple tighten / untighten situations.

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ZinKlad Welcomes…Retsacoat – Portugal

Congratulations to the Retsacoat team seen receiving there new ZinKlad certificate from Daniel Algar and Belina Raposo MacDermid Portugal.

RETSACOATTratamentos de Superficies Metálicas Lda, leading company in thermal and anti-corrosive treatments, started its activity in 2001. Retsacoat is a member of the Pecol business group. This partnership has been essential for the development of our current surface treatments.

To View this article on Retsacoat and ZinKlad in Spanish / online ebook, follow link  

Retsacoat started as lamellar (dip spin) zinc applicators inPortugal. In 2006, as a result of the Cr VI restriction in surface treatments, we became approved for the application of chromium-free lamellar zinc processes.

These thin film anti-corrosive treatments are the best alternative for a great number of parts. For example, the absence of chemical pickling eliminates the risk of hydrogen embrittlement. The thin thickness and integrated lubrication, allows a perfect assembly, even with small metric screws. Lubrication, an increasingly important issue, allows us to meet these market demands.

Recently we completed our portfolio of electrolytic treatments with the implementation of a fully automatic line for zinc, zinc nickel and zinc iron.

The support and collaboration of MacDermid has been fundamental. From the beginning of 2012, we are the first company in Portugal certified with the process ZinKlad 250 and ZinKlad 1000. With these new processes, we offer our customers the best solution in electrolytic finishing processes.

For lubrication of the ZinKlad finishes we offer both Torque ‘n’ Tension 11, and Torque ‘n’ Tension 15. Collectively these provide the optimal controlling the coefficient of friction characteristics.


Retsacoat have always been a pioneer in the latest equipment and finishing technology. We have implemented fully automatic lines that allow us to deliver finishes of high quality and consistency, at very competitive prices and with a reduced time for deliveries.


Quality is always a high priority for us. All surface and thermal treatments require a perfect control, both of the processes and finished product. In our in-house laboratories we carry out the most demanding tests including hardness testing, deposit observations by microscope, neutral spray salt, measurements of thickness by X-ray and also coefficients of friction.


Our concern for the environment has always been an essential part of the process development. Effluent gases such as liquid heat and finishing treatments are controlled by our in-house treatment equipment.

RETSACOAT – the solution for your mechanical parts.  http://www.retsacoat.pt/

ZinKlad…Supporting the highest quality standards

The ZinKlad™ quality assurance programme is taking on the challenges for high performance automotive coatings of the future. Introduced 10 years ago, ZinKlad has enabled many global OEM’s to specify higher standards than they achieved with previous, hexavalent chromium based coatings.

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ZinKlad for high performance ELV compliant coating

In the new globalising world, OEM’s must change and adapt, and ZinKlad continues to respond to these requirements worldwide. Today ZinKlad offers high performance coatings, proven consistent quality and a global network of approved applicators.

Of course, compliance with legislation, such as ELV & RoHS, and predictable torque-tension performance continue to be essential requirements. ZinKlad continues to deliver on all of these needs.

So as we move into the future, you can be sure that the high corrosion resistant coatings, freedom from proscribed materials and consistent friction control, will remain today as true as when ZinKlad was first specified.



Zinc plated finishes for ZinKlad

ZinKlad Finishes

Streamlining automotive coating requirements

The number of coatings available to automotive fastener engineers keeps growing. Drivers such as increased performance, friction properties, robustness in use and environmental compatibility have led to more choice; but is more choice always a good thing? How does an engineer make that choice? Does a vehicle need so many different fastener coatings? Perhaps the opposite is now more preferable, less choice and one coating which meets all the needs!

Zinc-Nickel, the coating which is gaining new advocates

High alloy (15% Ni) zinc-nickel’s popularity has grown to such an extent that an engineer will now consider it directly alongside contemporary finishes such as organic (paint) and (pure) zinc electroplate coatings. Whereas these two coatings have limitations when assessed against the primary drivers, zinc-nickel meets all the requirements.

Electroplate, long considered as the bulk sacrificial coating of choice, has a real advantage in delivering a coating which respects even the finest dimensional tolerances of fasteners. However pure zinc electroplate does not meet the higher corrosion (neutral salt spray) requirements of many modern automotive specifications.

On the other hand painted coatings, which meet the tougher neutral salt spray demands, are not usually employed when coating the smaller bolt or screw sizes due to the risk of head and thread fill.

So we come back to zinc-nickel. With a neutral salt spray resistance in excess of 1000 hours, it competes with any other commercially available mass fastener coating. Being electroplated it respects even the finest dimensional tolerance, has a high hardness (450HV) and has exceptional adhesion. The growing use of self threading fasteners means that a coating which retains adhesion during assembly process is critical. Unlike other coatings, zinc-nickel won’t gall or lift during the tapping and tightening process. Additionally it can be specified in both black or silver (without the need for a heavy painted topcoat).

Application of a thin film dry film lubricant provides friction properties which can be tailored to the OEM specification demands. This dry film (often referred to as a topcoat) also provides abrasion resistance. Good abrasion resistance is required to maintain the coating properties during vehicle assembly, where processes such as vibratory automated line feeds subject fasteners to high abrasion.  Finally being free of hexavalent chromium compounds these coatings meet ELV and RoHS directives.


In summary some engineers are looking at zinc-nickel as being an effective way to reduce the number of finishes required to achieve high fastener service life performance and reduce coating variability by streamlining their fastener supply chain.

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