Diamond E.N.™ Achieves Higher Hardness

A medical company switched coatings to gain durability.


Lincoln Diagnostics has been a Bales customer for 30-plus years. The company manufactures 60 million units of disposable allergy skin test devices a year, and Bales coats a critical component: proprietary steel inserts with a perfectly sharp point.

However, that tip is a sticking point — literally. During molding, the tiny inserts, which are as small as a contact lens, can stick to the mold when the point doesn’t release well. The result: slowed production and compromised quality.

“We need a clean release. It has to come out of the mold easily,” says Dennis Recker, a consulting engineer to Lincoln Diagnostics.

To achieve that primary objective, the company has been using Bales’ NICKLON™ coating. “It’s always worked well for us,” Recker says. However, the part required such a tight tolerance that “when we pull the tool apart to clean it, we found we needed a more durable coating.”


Recently, Recker received a mailer from Bales showing a coin coated in Diamond E.N.™, our newest proprietary coating.

“I was struck by how slippery it was,” Recker says. “We got some specs and saw that, on paper, the coefficient of friction isn’t much different than Nicklon. However, the hardness is much higher.”

Diamond E.N.™ is an electroless nickel coating with diamond particles for excellent wear properties, so it provides high wear resistance as well as release.

Recker had Bales conduct a test. “We coated a quarter of the tool in Diamond E.N.™, and it looked good, so we did the rest of the tool. It’s in the mold right now.”


While it’s still too early to measure performance, Recker is confident that Diamond E.N.™ will prove to be a winner. “I have a lot of confidence based on what we’ve seen so far,” he says. “The Diamond E.N. is giving us more durability.”

In fact, he’s sending us another 256 parts to plate in Diamond E.N.™.

Recker says Bales’ level of excellence is a marvel. “Bales has done thousands of these parts for us and never lost one. I don’t know how they do it. I absolutely would recommend them.”

No matter what challenge you face with your molds, Bales will deliver the right solution, on time, with the highest of standards. Learn more about Diamond E.N.™.


Some competitors only serve certain industries, but at Bales, we serve industry. Whether it's plastic injection molding or nuclear components - if its metal, we cover it.