Electroless Nickel / PTFE Composite


The Electroless Nickel / PTFE process was developed in Holland and later refined and commercialized in England. Coating Technologies, Inc. became a licensed facility in the United States for this process in 1987. In 1988 CTI hired one of the developers of this process ( Dr. Paul Ebdon PHD ) to help train and develop the market for this new technology.

This relationship has made CTI the undisputed leader in the Electroless Nickel/PTFE composite market today.


NP3 is a surface treatment for various metals and alloys that combines sub-micron particles of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) with autocatalytically applied nickel/phosphorus. The result is an accurately applied, dry lubricated, low friction surface that is extremely hard and resistant to wear.

The PTFE is evenly distributed throughout and locked into the nickel phosphorus matrix creating a true and stable composite. As wear occurs fresh particles of PTFE are exposed to keep the surface lubricated. This lubrication is available as long as the integrity of the coating is intact.

With NP3, the innovative engineer can specify surface characteristics that were previously thought unattainable.


The uniform thickness and dimensional accuracy of NP3 negates the need for post-plate grinding operations. Thinner, accurate coatings mean reduced cost in materials and handling. Coatings can be applied to very exact tolerances easing the design and processing problems for engineers and designers.

Processing of the NP3 can be done expeditiously on most parts thus allowing for quicker assembly or replacement of time sensitive components.

Components plated in NP3 that have shown wear can be chemically stripped and replated with a fresh coating of NP3, thereby saving on component replacement costs. Importantly, NP3 is competitively priced.


News and Articles about NP3 / Electroless Nickel PTFE

NP3 and Galling Prevention

NP3 and Galling Prevention

by Ken Mantle CEF-2 Galling is a form of wear caused by adhesion between sliding surfaces.  Galling is caused by a combination of friction and adhesion between surfaces, followed by slipping and tearing of crystal structure beneath the surface.(1) Sliding mechanisms...

NP3 for Aerospace Solenoids

By Ken Mantle, CEF-2 Solenoids are basically electromagnets and when they are coupled to mechanical devices such as valves, pistons, rollers, etc. they can be used to control specific movements or material flow. In some aerospace applications these solenoids are used...


The NP3 process is an evolution of autocatalytic (Electroless) nickel plating. Electroless Nickel is a time proven technology that accurately deposits hard, corrosion resistant nickel phosphorus onto metal. One of the greatest attributes of this technology is no matter how complex the shape, the coating thickness remains consistent. This type of accuracy is not possible with conventional electrolytic plating.

np3-layersPlating is accomplished by using reducing agents in the bath. Sodium hypophosphate fuels the reduction reaction to deposit the nickel along with the codeposition of small amounts of phosphorus. The phosphorus enhances the nickel’s corrosion resistance by forming a thin tarnish film and gives a deposited hardness ranging from Rc 35-50. Heat treatment can increase hardnesses into the Rc 68-70 range.

With NP3, PTFE is introduced into the solution with a blend of surfactants and other chemicals which enable the PTFE to be codeposited with the nickel. This composition incorporates approximately 25 volume percent of PTFE into the nickel matrix. Unlike other nickel /PTFE products, NP3 is a true composite.


The plating of components with electroless or autocatalytic nickel is one of the most rapidly developing metal finishing processes. The advantages of coating uniformity, corrosion resistance and hardness are providing designers with opportunities to protect and improve base materials in ways that were not previously possible.

GPS3117-1 (Honeywell), HP4-90 (Boeing), M7019883 (Honeywell), EMS52545 (Allied Engines)

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the autocatalytic nickel coating confers a degree of lubricity on the component, enhancing the coating’s suitability for pumps, compressors, pistons, brake cylinders and hydraulic components. The precise uniformity of the deposit enables the coating to be utilized as a true finishing process, with no post plate grinding or polishing required after plating.


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