Electroless Nickel with SiC

Niplate 600 SiC is a composite coating of medium phosphorus (5-9%) electroless nickel and silicon carbide crystals (SiC) in a concentration of 20-30%.

During the nickel plating process microscopic particles of silicon carbide are co-deposited in the film. The layer is thus composed of a nickel-phosphorus alloy matrix with uniformly distributed superhard silicon carbide granules.

Silicon carbide is classified among superhard materials because its hardness value is above 2000 HV, only slightly lower than that of diamonds. Due to this property, silicon carbide is widely employed as an anti-wear material.

Thanks to the presence of silicon carbide granules, the Niplate 600 SiC coating offers very high wear resistance, superior also to hard chrome. This is why the material is employed for critical applications, in the presence of sliding movements and high levels of wear. It is widely used to protect engine components, in the textiles sector, and in motor sports.

Loom shuttles coated with Niplate 600 SiC, electroless nickel-SiC


Thanks to the durability of the electroless nickel matrix and the extreme hardness of SiC ceramic particles, the Niplate 600 SiC coating has higher abrasive and adhesive wear resistance than hard chrome.


The SiC ceramic particles with hardness of more than 2000 HV allow the hardness of the composite film to be increased up to 1100 HV.


Uniform and constant coating thickness over the entire substrate, including holes: ideal for precision machined parts with tight tolerances.


All metals commonly used in mechanical engineering practice can be coated: alloys of iron, copper, and aluminium.


Composition and applicable standards

NiPSiC 1÷3µm
91÷95%5÷9%20÷30% vol.
Composite coating with medium phosphorus electroless nickel matrix and silicon carbide particles.
RoHS compliance
RoHS compliant. No restricted substances present in amounts greater than the maximum tolerated concentrations.
REACH compliance
REACH compliant. No SVHCs present in amounts higher than 0.1% by weight.

Coatable metals

Iron alloysCharacteristics
Carbon steelAdhesion★★★★★
Corrosion resistance★★★☆☆
Stainless steelPre-treatmentSand blasting
Corrosion resistance★★★★★
Case hardened steelPre-treatmentSand blasting
Corrosion resistance★★★☆☆
Nitrided steelPre-treatmentSand blasting
Corrosion resistance★★★☆☆
Copper alloysCharacteristics
Brass, Bronze, CopperAdhesion★★★★★
Corrosion resistance★★★★★
Aluminium alloysCharacteristics
Machining alloysAdhesion★★★★☆
Corrosion resistance★★★★☆
Foundry alloysAdhesion★★★★☆
Corrosion resistance★★★☆☆
Titanium alloysCharacteristics
Pure titanium and titanium alloysPre-treatmentSand blasting
Corrosion resistance★★★★★

Coating thickness and aesthetic appearance

Coating thickness
Nominal thickness, as requiredTolerance
10÷30µm±10% (min. ±2µm)
Uniform thickness over the entire external and internal surface
Absence of tip effect typical of galvanic coatings
Aesthetic appearance
Metallic appearance with smoke grey colour caused by the high contents of SiC particles. Reproduces the morphology of the machined part.
Option of matt finish (sand blasted, shoot peened, or grit blasted)
A metallic appearance of the electroless nickel colour can be supplied on request
Hardening treatments may result in discolouration of the coating:
• 270-280°C, white colour with possible yellow stains
• 340°C, iridescent blue-red colouring

Tribological properties

Niplate 600 SiC has very high hardness values, resulting from a combination of the electroless nickel matrix and ultrahard ceramic particles. Hardness of varies in relation to the hardening heat treatment carried out after deposition of the coating.
Hardness valueHeat treatment
Hydrogen embrittlement relief at 160-180°C for 4h
Hardening at 260 -280°C for 8h
Hardening at 340°C for 4h
Wear resistance
Niplate 600 SiC offers extreme resistance to both abrasive and adhesive wear, superior to that of hard chrome, thanks to the high contents of superhard silicon carbide particles.
Guideline wear value, TWI-CS10Heat treatment
The lower the number, the higher the performance – ASTM B733 X1 – Taber Abraser wear test – CS 10 abrasive wheels – 1 kg load
1.0±0.1 mg / 1000 cycles
Hydrogen embrittlement relief at 160-180°C for 4h
0.8±0.1 mg / 1000 cycles
Hardening at 260 -280°C for 8h
0.6±0.1 mg / 1000 cycles
Hardening at 340°C for 4h
Friction coefficient
Dynamic dry friction coefficient value
0.5 ÷ 0.8
0.5 ÷ 0.8 depending on the antagonist material

Chemical properties

Corrosion resistance
The corrosion protection of Niplate 600 SiC, assessed by means of the salt spray test, depends on the substrate material, machining and finish of the part, and applied film thickness.
Guideline corrosion resistance valuesSubstrate material
NSS to ISO 9227 – Thickness 20 μm – corroded surface < 5%
≥1000 hours
≥180 hours
Carbon steel
≥240 hours
Aluminium 6082
Chemical resistance
For applications requiring high chemical resistance Niplate 500 should be used in place of Niplate 600 SiC. Niplate 600 SiC anyway offers a good level of chemical resistance, especially in alkaline environments.
Chemical compatibility
Chemical compatibility values are referred exclusively to the coating and do not define the corrosion protection of the substrate material. The overall performance of the coated part is highly dependent also on the type and quality of the substrate material. The actual environmental resistance must anyway be tested in the field.
Hydrocarbons (e.g. petrol, diesel, mineral oil, toluene)
Alcohol, ketones (e.g. ethanol, methanol, acetone)
Neutral saline solutions (e.g. sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, seawater)
Dilute reducing acids (e.g. citric acid, oxalic acid)
Acid oxidizing agents (e.g. nitric acid)
Concentrated acids (e.g. sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid)
Dilute bases (e.g. dilute sodium hydroxide)
Base oxidizing agents (e.g. sodium hypochlorite)
Concentrated bases (e.g. concentrated sodium hydroxide)

Physical properties

Easily brazed using RMA, RA acid fluxes
FerromagnetismHeat treatment
FerromagneticHydrogen embrittlement relief at 160-180°C for 4h
FerromagneticHardening at 260 -280°C for 8h
FerromagneticHardening at 340°C for 4h
Fusion point, solidus
6.8 g/cm3