materials used in Electroforming

Discover the most suitable materials for your Electroforming project. Our guide covers properties, applications and expert advice.

introduction

This page presents an overview of the materials used in electroforming, highlighting the versatility of this technique in precision metal fabrication. Focusing on Nickel and
Copper, along with their various types, we explore how each material contributes to the efficacy of electroforming in diverse applications. Understand the critical
attributes such as tensile strength, elasticity, hardness, and purity, essential for selecting the right material for your project. Explore the possibilities offered by
electroforming and learn how these materials can be optimally utilized in your precision engineering tasks.

overview of materials used in electroforming

Typical materials we offer for Electroforming are Nickel and Copper. Whereas we have a variety of nickel types available with different material properties:

video: Electroforming material choice

In Knol-edge, Harrie Knol shares his knowledge on precision metal. Harrie is Head of Application Engineering at Veco and helps our clients’ engineers to shape their projects. In this video Harrie talks about the choices in the material that can be made to make your precision parts.

watch the video about materials

Want to learn more about material options with Electroforming?

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selection of materials

PropertyTypeComparison Stainless steel²
Veco84SulfamateMetaHR-NiPdNiSS 316LSS 304
Tensile strength R𝗆 [MPa]2200-2300550-5701060-10801670-16901750-1950680-710680-710
Yield strength Rp 0,2[MPa]1900-2100390-405760-7851100-11301700-1750290-330290-330
Elasticity E [GPa]
130-13580-9580-9590-12595-110130-155130-155
Elongation at failure [%]4-713-206-72-80-250-5565-75
Hardness HV [N/mm²]³620-660185-200330-340460-470520-530175-185180-200
Saturation magnetization M₅ [μA m² mg⁻¹]⁴ 52-5652-5652-5652-56n.a. (paramagnetic)  
Chemical Purity [wt%Ni]⁵99,599,999,999,9alloy  
Nickel Leaching [mg/L]⁶0,056 +/- 0,0080,072 +/- 0,0140,053 +/- 0,0360,075 +/- 0,0280,025 +/- 0,0160,000 +/- 0,0000,000 +/- 0,000
Gloss typeHighSemiHighHighHigh  
Gloss [%]55% @ 20°2% @ 60°42% @ 60°56% @ 20°59% @ 20°  
Surface Roughness Rₐ [μm]0.030.30.020.040.03  
Surface Roughness Sₐ [μm]0.030.20.030.060.05  
HV ≥ 95% + Rₘ ≥ 95%⁷120 °C160 °C200 °C200 °C200 °C  
Bulk resistivity ρ [x10⁻⁷ Ω.m]⁸1.3 ± 0.10.8 ± 0.10.9 ± 0.11.0 ± 0.12.9 ± 0.1  

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1 Tensile strength, yield strength, elasticity and elongation at failure are measured in flat tensile tests on ASTM D638 type 4 samples (thickness 75-100 µm) according to ISO 6892-1:2016 with an initial gauge length of 25 mm.

2 Stainless steel samples SS316L and SS304 are added as reference, but note that identical stainless steel types can be ordered with varying tensile properties; the measured values do not reflect the maximum capability of stainless steel 316L and 304.

3 The Vickers hardness as measured on polished cross sections with a force of 0.981 N (100p).

4 Measured at 32 °C with a vibrating-sample magnetometer.

5 Ni purity with respect to the elements Ag, Al, As, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Er, Eu, Ga, Gd, Ge, Hg, Ho, La, Mg, Mo, Nb, Pb, S, Si, Sn, Sr, Ti, Tm, U, Y, Zn, Zr. Based on qualitative and quantitative trace level analyses with inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry after material dissolution in HNO3 with a final Ni concentration of ca. 1 g/L and a final HNO3 concentration of ca. 10-14 v%.

6 The Ni leaching in the standardized testing procedure for sugar sieves, i.e. leaching from 1.00 dm2 sample surface area in 170 mL DIN10531 artificial tap water at 70 °C during 24 h. All materials fulfilled the requirement of <0.14 mg Ni leaching per kg test fluid as determined for food contact applications by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (Technical guide on metals and alloys used in food contact materials, 1st edition September 2013).

7 Temperature at which the material can be kept for 1 h while maintaining HV≥95% and Rm≥95%. Thermal treatments were done in air with instantaneous heating and cooling.

8 Measured with a four-point probe under a current of 1.000 A and at ca. 35 °C.

cases and blogs

Have a look at our case studies and blogs and find out more about material properties.

Discover the future of manufacturing with the case studies about electroforming. See how companies are using electroforming to create precision parts and improve products.

Stay informed and up-to-date as we delve into the latest insights, innovations, and trends shaping the world of precision engineering.

Frequently Asked Questions about materials used in Electroforming

Material choice affects durability, conductivity, and corrosion resistance, influencing the part’s application suitability and performance.

It is possible to use the biocompatible material PdNi, suitable for, for example, medical devices.

Considerations include the part’s application, required physical properties (e.g., strength, conductivity), environmental conditions (e.g., exposure to corrosive substances), and cost. Contact an engineer to discuss the best choice for your project. 

want to learn more about the possibilities for your project? get in touch!