In the surface coating and finishing industry, there are many processes and coatings available to provide a wide range of enhancements to a number of products. Whether a company is involved in all aspects of coating technologies or specialises in just one, such as electroplating, anodising or electroless nickel plating, the Surface Engineering Association (SEA) is looking out for their interests.

Why choose nickel plating?

The use of nickel is a very popular finish at the moment thanks to its bright lustre finish and hard wearing properties. It can be applied to products and components in two ways:

· Nickel electroplating, or nickel plating, is the process of applying a thin layer on to a substrate (metal or alloys such as copper, chrome, tin, silver, gold, zinc, iron and brass) by passing an electrical current through an electrolytic solution in which the substrate is immersed. During this process, the nickel ions in the solution are deposited on to the substrate in a thin coating.

Nickel has a number of benefits when used to plate a variety of products, including increased conductivity, improved solderability, corrosion protection, and wear resistance. It also is often used for decorative purposes as it offers a high-lustre finish. It is commonly used in components for the automotive, electronics and chemical industries, as well as for pumps and valves.

· Electroless nickel plating, however, is a method of applying one or more layers of nickel to a substrate without using an external electrical charge. A major benefit of this process is that it gives a completely uniform deposit on the substrate – even on the most intricate of shapes.

Products and components coated using this process are used in many industries which include, electrical, lighting, plumbing, architectural, medical and automotive. With great hardness, along with corrosion and wear resistance, it is often preferred to electroplating.

What are the benefits of SEA membership?

Whether you are involved in nickel plating, plating with other metals, or any other surface coating processes, the SEA plays an important role in keeping the industry’s voice heard and making sure that it is represented where it matters. We represent the industry on many UK and European committees where laws and legislation are passed down. We are committed to making sure that we fight for our members’ interests in these committees.

For those involved in surface engineering and finishing, environmental and health and safety issues dominate the day to day running of businesses. We make sure that we are always ‘in the loop’ when it comes to these issues so that we keep our members informed and are able to offer advice and guidance to them when they need it.

As well experiencing the advantages of the SEA’s responsibilities in this very important role, there are many other benefits to being a member of the SEA:

· 24 hour business support line. We understand that when running a business, it’s not always a 9 to 5 operation. That’s why we offer a 24 hour service to companies looking for advice on employment issues, tax, VAT and PAYE.

· Technical and commercial advice. When you need advice on dealing with waste chemicals or the implications of using restricted chemicals, we are on hand to offer our help. If we are unable to help directly, we will point you in the direction of someone who can.

· Your business will be featured in the SEA handbook and website.

· Quarterly publications such as the SEA Newsletter and Environmental Watchword magazine.

· Regular meetings, conferences and seminars where you can hear about the latest issues affecting the industry, as well as being able to network with other people from the industry.

· Discounts on a variety of services such as car hire, hotels and private healthcare.

· And much, much more…

How do I become a member of the SEA?

If you would like to read about the many achievements the SEA has made on behalf of the industry, or advice on environmental or health and safety issues, please browse our website.

To discuss membership with one of our helpful staff members, please telephone us on 0121 237 1123 or email us at