Study of the deposition, properties and applications of electroless deposits containing particles
The deposition efficiencies of a number of electroless nickel and cobalt plating solutions were studied and in the case of nickel compared with a commercial plating solution Nifoss 80. At the optimum plating conditions (92ºC and pH 4.5) Nifoss 80 produced nickel layers most efficiently, the alkaline cobalt solution operated most efficiently at 90ºC and pH 9. The methods of producing compostte layers containing 2-3 µm carbide particles and chromium powder is described. Nickel and cobalt layers containing approximately 27% carbide particles, or 40% (Ni) and 30% (Co) chromium particles by volume were obtained. This value is independent of the particle concentration in the plating solution within the range (20~200 g/l). Hardness of the nickel. as deposited was 515 Hv, this was increased to a maximum of 1155 Hv by heat treatment at 200ºC for 5 hours in vacuum. Incorporation. of .chromium carbide particles resulted in a maximum hardness of 1225 Hv after heating at 500ºC for 5 hours in vacuum and chromium particles resulted in a maximum hardness of 16S0 Hv after heat treatment at 400ºC for 2 hours in vacuum. Similarly the hardness of cobalt as deposited was 600 Hv, this was increased to a maximum of 1300 Hv after heat treatment at 400ºC for 1 hour. Incorporation of chromium carbide particles resulted jn a maximum hardness of 1405 Hv after heating at 400ºC for 5 hours in vacuum and chromium particles resulted in a maximum hardness of 1440 Hv after. heat treating for 2 hours at 400ºC in vacuum. The structure of the deposits was studied by optical and scanning electron microscopy. The wear rate and coefficient of friction was determined by a pin and disc method. Wear rate and coefficient of friction decreased with increase in hardness. The wear resistance of the materials was also determined using a simulated forging test. Dies made of standard die steel were coated and the wear rates of the layers as deposited and after heat treatment were compared with those of uncoated tools. The wear resistance generally increased with hardness, it was 50-75% more than the uncoated die steel. Acetic acid salt spray test and outdoor exposure for six months was used to study the corrosion behaviour of the deposits and potentiodynamic curves plotted to find their corrosion potential. Nickel deposit exhibited less staining than carbide composite deposits and nickel-chromium deposits had the most noble corrosion potential.