The synthesis of nickel composites, like those from Poeton has been made possible by the simple addition of a nickel layer on a Ni metal (niMe) substrate. Several years ago, the nickel layer on the surface of the nickel-coated NiCad (NCAQ) was discovered; and now this material is used widely for a variety of electronics applications. Since then, the usefulness of these nickel-coated substrates has extended to other types of niches. For instance, nickel-coated graphite is extensively used in the production of solar cells (solar panels); it is also used in computer chips, which has an extremely high density of conductors.
In order to fabricate the nickel composites, an acid-like solution is applied to the surface of the metal where we want to form the composites. This process of electrodeposition brings about a kind of corrosion called electrostatically induced erosion (EIG). When the two opposing sides of the coated metal electrode come into contact with each other, a particular kind of chemical reaction causes the creation of a thin layer of the electrically conductive substance on the surface of the metal. This is how the nickel layer is formed, and it accounts for why the new kind of electrodeposition coating on composites comes with the added benefits of low cost and easy production.
Electroplating is a popular method to harden materials, and the use of nickel composites can be traced back to the 1950’s, when engineers started applying this method to reduce the weight and thickness of airplane airframe designs. Over time, various coatings have been developed for use in aerospace applications, including composites. While many people think of nickel as a soft, ductile metal, the truth is that nickel is very hard. Thus, the use of nickel composites to provide more strength, hardness, and durability makes sense.