New balance of corrosion and abrasion resistance, plus good lubricity and suitability for aluminum tools.

The latest wear- and corrosion-resistant coating from Bales Metal Surface Solutions, Downers Grove, Ill., is Diamond EN, based on electroless nickel with nano-diamond particles. According to a presentation at the recent Molding 2015 Conference in Rosemont, Ill., this coating offers greater corrosion resistance than Bales’ Diamond Chrome coating, though the latter has superior abrasion resistance. Diamond EN is similar in abrasion resistance to standard hard chrome. Its hardness is 57 RC as plated and 70 RC after heat treatment.

In addition to excellent lubricity—equal to or better than diamond or hard chrome and much more than electroless nickel alone—Diamond EN has the advantage of being suitable for aluminum tools. Chrome is hard to plate on aluminum, according to Bales.