NiCom Cylinder Plating

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Cylinder Plating Services: NiCom Tech Info

NiCom Plateau Honed Cylinder Coating: Driven to Perform

US Chrome's NiCom coating is comprised of a proprietary composite, primarily nickel and silicon carbide, with other hardening and lubricity agents. We create our cylinder coating with these two composites for their renowned hardness and wear resistant properties. The minute particle size (which averages three microns) makes our NiCom cylinder plating composite 100% non-abrasive. Due to the very high hardness value and thickness which is applied, the U.S. Chrome cylinder coating is superior to any factory or aftermarket nikasil, hard chrome, electrofusion, or iron or steel sleeve alternative!

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Worn cylinders are submerged in dual plating baths for optimum plating thickness, durability and longevity. Laminar lubricant like boron nitride and graphite can be added to any of our cylinder coating composites to further reduce frictional properties.

NiCom: Improved Performance over Chromium

NiCom is applied up to 10x the thickness of chromium, making it especially ideal for sliding wear applications under a wide range of loads. NiCom’s superior wettability offers better frictional characteristics than chromium or electroless nickel. With its oleophilic properties, the NiCom cylinder coating maintains hydrodynamic lubrication easier than its counterparts. This outstanding feature accounts for its extensive use in internal combustion cylinders (both 2 Stroke and 4 Stroke), oil well tubes and hydraulic equipment.


Unlike chromium or electroless nickel, NiCom also offers incredible corrosion resistance and upper operating temperatures. With U. S. Chrome’s patented cylinder plating, prolonged exposure to temperatures up to 1200 F (540 C) will not result in significant loss of its physical properties. Nickel Composite Coatings are also substantially more eco-friendly than other options. Plus, all solid waste is 100% recycled and reused into stainless steel. We are an environmentally-friendly facility!

Cylinder Honing

Our unique cylinder honing process uses a double diamond plateau technique which symmetrically sizes the cylinder bore. The finished surface allows for superior oil retention due to the oleophilic nature of the silicon carbide in the NiCom cylinder coating. The serviced cylinder is meticulously inspected before it’s returned to the customer.


U.S. Chrome has more than 35 years of technical experience in nickel-carbide composites. Our innovative cylinder plating technology enables us to create cylinder coating thicknesses up to 0.025”, as opposed to electroless nickel composites which are limited to 0.001” or less. When you need performance-driven results, get NiCom cylinder plating.


NiCom (Nickel Silicon Carbide) Dispersion Coating

Coating Description

NiCom is an electro-composite coating consisting of a nickel metal matrix primary phase and/or hard particulate secondary phase dispersed uniformly within it. The process involves electroplating nickel in the presence of hard particulates, such as SiC, under conditions allowing the hard particulate to co-deposit with the nickel. The result is an electroplated composite material where engineering thickness can be achieved for both original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and overhaul and repair (O&R).


Electro-composite materials, such as NiCom, are viable alternatives to hard chromium plating due to their excellent wear resistance. Superior sliding wear characteristics are achieved due to the hard particulates dispersed within the metal matrix. Mating components ride on the hard particulates, which can vary from SiC to BN to diamond depending on the wear condition application, resulting in wear 5 to 10 times better the Cr. Once the NiCom coating has been applied, it can be diamond honed or ground to finish dimensions and surface finish requirements.

Features & Benefits

  • Excellent sliding wear rear resistance usually 2 to 10 times better than chrome
  • Buildup possible up to 0.030+
  • Superior adhesion to all metals including aluminum and titanium
  • Outstanding corrosion resistance

Typical Applications

Common applications of NiCom are found in bores of internal combustions engines with uses ranging from weed trimmers to snowmobiles to high performance race cars. Most any cylinder bore/piston application where sliding wear resistance is important is a candidate for NiCom electro-composites.


  • Internal Combustion Engines
    • Aircraft
    • Automotive
    • Marine
    • Motorcycle
    • Snowmobile
  • Agriculture
  • Oil & Gas


  • Frictional properties are very good and the coating has excellent oil retention due to the oleophilic nature of nickel and silicon carbide. The coefficient of friction can be further enhanced by adding laminar lubricants to the deposit.
  • Hardness: 500-625 HVN100
  • Corrosion resistance is outstanding and is superior to electroless nickel and chromium. In the presence of chlorides (pH<6.0), brine, and sour gases it is superior to chromium and other coatings.