Zinc Nickel: The Safer and Better Alternative to Cadmium

29 Sep Zinc Nickel: The Safer and Better Alternative to Cadmium

High-performing parts and equipment are a necessity in such demanding industries such as automotive, aerospace, military, defense, marine, oil and gas, agriculture, construction, and heavy equipment. Metal components and structures are exposed to excessive corrosion, wear, and thermal stresses. In the past, these industries turned to cadmium plating for its superior corrosion protection, excellent conductivity, and built-in lubricity. The deleterious impacts of cadmium exposure to the environment and health risks have forced industries to find safer and viable alternatives.

One of these alternatives is zinc nickel. Composed of approximately 10-20 percent nickel and the remainder zinc, this alloy combines the most desirable characteristics and qualities of both metals. Like cadmium, zinc nickel has a sacrificial barrier layer that protects the underlying substrate. However, the addition of the more noble nickel slows the zinc corrosion and extends the longevity of the barrier layer. In fact, zinc nickel plating demonstrates equivalent, if not better, corrosion properties than cadmium plating without the adverse environmental and health impacts. Thus, zinc nickel has effectively replaced cadmium as the safer and better plating option for highly corrosive and high-temperature applications and aggressive and demanding environmental conditions.


The demand for zinc nickel has increased as industries and manufacturers take advantage of its numerous benefits to meet important factors such as longer life cycle requirements, stricter health and safety standards, extended product warranties, sustainable business practices, and minimizing environmental impact. It provides a higher degree of substrate protection, because of its exceptional corrosion resistance, wear and abrasion resistance in moving parts, and ability to reduce thermal stress in high-temperature applications.

Zinc nickel provides significant advantages to the automotive, aerospace, and marine industries. Automotive manufacturers and their OEM suppliers were the first major industry to rely on zinc nickel. Its ability to protect engine and exposed parts from corrosion, friction, thermal stress, and abrasion has helped extend the working life and appearance of both the vehicle and its parts. Similarly, the aerospace industry has replaced cadmium with zinc nickel for critical corrosion protection for exposed parts such as landing gear, turbines, and fasteners. Not only does zinc nickel extent component life and help meet longer warranty requirements, its compatibility with light-weight metals and materials also helps with the light-weighting of vehicles and aircrafts.

Because corrosion reduces the working life of components and parts and contributes to equipment and structure failure, the demand for zinc nickel plating will only continue to grow. It is now used for a wide variety of applications, including electrical power-transmission lines, fasteners on structures exposed to harsh weather such as bridges, small engine parts, railroads, heavy equipment, oil refineries, ships and recreational boats, agricultural machinery, and much more.


The following are some of the qualities and benefits of zinc nickel:

  • Exceptional corrosion and oxidation resistance
  • Enhanced hardness for added protection
  • Superior performance in higher temperatures
  • Reduces friction, abrasion, and wear rate
  • Long-term cathodic and galvanic corrosion protection
  • Enhanced electrical conductivity
  • Extends the service lifespan of parts, components, and equipment
  • Reduces maintenance and replacement costs
  • Excellent adhesion properties with blister-free deposits
  • Outstanding covering power and uniformity of plate distribution


As a leading provider of environmentally responsible metal plating solutions, Metal Finishing Technologies offers high-quality, long-lasting, zinc nickel plating services.

  • Nickel ally ranges from 8% to 18%
  • Rack and barrel plating available
  • Excellent adhesion properties with ductile deposits
  • Multiple topcoats, sealers, and torque/tension modifiers available
  • Passivation colors available in clear, blue, and black
  • Surface enhancement
  • Refurbishment

About Metal Finishing Technologies

Metal Finishing Technologies, LLC, a Battle Investment Group portfolio company, has been delivering world class coating removal and finishing solutions for over 70 years.    The Company holds numerous quality and customer certifications, including ISO 9001, AS9100-D, FAA and EASA registered Part 145 repair station, and NADCAP for chemical processing.  MFT operates out of an environmentally compliant and state-of-the-art 72,000 square foot facility with robust quality control processes and systems across all its various service offerings.  MFT is based in Bristol, CT.  For more information, visit www.mftech.com

About JD Technologies Global, LLC

JD Technologies Global, LLC provides premium sales and marketing services to a group of high quality, complementary manufacturers of engineered services and products who serve the aerospace, military & defense, industrial and medical industries. They develop long term relationships with key customers who value the consultative style of selling and who wish to interface with sales professionals of high integrity. Their approach is to use proven consultative selling techniques. Consultative selling is a collaborative process that leads customers/prospects through an analysis of their current situation to a resulting improvement. For more information on JD Technologies Global, LLC, their products, services and their consultative selling methodology, visit www.jdtechsales.com.



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