Research and Development
As a high-tech company operating on the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing, we frequently face technical challenges without known solutions. Therefore, NiCoForm must maintain an active research and development program. Relying on our industrial, R&D and manufacturing expertise, we find effective and practical solutions to such problems. Not only have we developed a comprehensive understanding of the materials, equipment and systems we work with, our knowledge and skill base are constantly enriched by the new solutions we generate for our customers.
Often carried out in close interaction with end users, NiCoForm development efforts are not considered complete until we have exhaustively demonstrated that our results are consistent, repeatable and can be used in production.
Such past investigations led to the development of our trademark alloy, NiColoy®. Today, they result in continuous enhancements to our net-shape electroforming and other manufacturing methods. Innovation and creativity are at the core of NiCoForm's ability to help customers solve their most challenging engineering problems. Every day, new and improved manufacturing methods are being created by our talented team.
The following are some examples of our successfully completed developments:
- An advanced Nickel plating process for Titanium alloys enabled us to hermetically solder NiColoy® bellows to Titanium flanges for a spaceflight application
- Our novel Cobalt plating process assures excellent adhesion of the deposit to advanced alloys, used in fuel cell applications
- Electroforming of high hardness (50+RC), 6 mm thick, precision stamping tools for aluminum foil forming was developed for a photovoltaic panel manufacturing
- Development of precision high hardness mold inserts for microfluidic applications helps researchers in medical and biomedical fields
- Thin-wall (.006 - .008"), light-weight, rigid, spherical, 16" OD electroformed shells with a low reflectivity coating in the visible part of the spectrum have been developed by NiCoForm. They are currently mass produced for use as multi-slit masks in astronomical spectrographs
- A new design of a corrugated waveguide for the NRAO/EVLA receiver has been developed, improving manufacturability of the part and reducing lead times. NRAO (The National Radio Astronomy Observatory) is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
- We designed a unique electroforming process and fabricated reflective baffles for the planetary imager MERTIS to be launched to Mercury on the joint European Space Agency/Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency mission BepiColombo in 2016
Electroforming of complex geometry articles offers an efficient manufacturing technique that guarantees tighter tolerances, increased part to part repeatability, faster turnarounds and lower production costs than conventional methods.
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