Nickel electroforming: An essential tool for the holographic industry


T. Hart
Hart Coating Technology, UK
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Nickel electroforming is a manufacturing technique that is closely related to nickel electroplating, employing very similar technology. Both of these processes were invented and developed, in parallel, during the 1840s; so nickel electroforming is by no means new. Despite the fact that it has existed for over 160 years and has a host of wide ranging commercial applications, it remains a process that is not well recognised, even by experienced scientists, technologists or engineers.

The applications of nickel electroplating, on the other hand, are much more familiar, since nickel electrodeposits are an essential part of what is generally known as ‘chrome’ or ‘chromium’ plating. Both of these terms are unfortunate misnomers since the coating system that is known by either name actually consists of about 99% nickel. The chromium is present only as a very thin top-coat which accounts for a mere 1% of the thickness of the total deposit system.

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