The effect of heat treatment on the structure and hardness of pulse electrodeposited NiP-WC composite coating

A. Zoikis Karathanasis, E.A. Pavlatou, N. Spyrellis

Electrochimica Acta (2009), 54, 2563-2570

In the present work pure nickel–phosphorous and nickel–phosphorous composite coatings with WC particles (mean diameter 200nm) have been produced under both direct and pulse current conditions, from a modified, organic-free, Watts bath. The produced coatings were thermally treated at various temperatures and the structure, morphology and the microhardness of the deposits were examined after each cycle of heat treatment. Imposition of pulse current conditions led to composite deposits with high-incorporation percentage of WC particles in the matrix. Also, the presence of WC particles resulted in coatings with enhanced microhardness values and retarded diffusion phenomena in the deposits during thermal treatment. Annealing of all coatings at 400°C revealed complete crystallization of the matrix to the phases of Ni, Ni2P and Ni3P accompanied by a significant increase of microhardness for all deposits. Further heating at higher temperatures demonstrated a decrease in microhardness of both kinds of deposits. The experimental data proved that it is possible to produce NiP–WC composite coatings under specific pulse current conditions followed by proper thermal treatment that exhibited considerable enhanced microhardness.

doi: 10.1016/j.electacta.2008.07.027

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