Codeposition of ultrafine WC particles in Ni matrix composite electrocoatings

M. Stroumbouli, P. Gyftou, E.A. Pavlatou, N. Spyrellis

Surface and Coatings Technology (2005), 195 (2-3), 325-332

The electrolytic codeposition of ultrafine WC particles (mean diameter of 0.2μm) from an additive-free nickel Watts' solution by applying both direct (DC) and pulse (PC) electroplating, has been investigated. Electrodeposition of Ni/WC composites was carried out on a rotating disk electrode (RDE) at various rotation velocities. The effect of type current and hydrodynamic conditions of the plating bath on the codeposition of WC particles with Ni matrix has been reported. The crystallographic orientation of nickel matrix, the distribution and the percentage of the embedded particles, were examined as well as the structure and the surface morphology of the produced composite coatings. It was found that electrodeposits prepared at DC conditions and low rotation velocities are highly porous. On the contrary, when applying PC conditions and high rotation velocities, compact deposits with high concentration of embedded WC particles and uniform distribution were produced. It has been observed that the presence of WC particles in the metal matrix imposes an almost random orientation of Ni crystallites along with a reinforcement of [210] orientation. Taking into consideration a surface complexation model and the experimental data, a mechanism of nickel electrocrystallization in the presence of WC particles has been proposed.

doi: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2004.06.034

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