In this study, the effect of zinc interlayer on the adhesion of nickel coatings reinforced with micrometric Al2O3 particles was examined. Nickel coating was applied by electroplating on EN AW - 5754 aluminium alloy using Watts bath at a concentration of 150 g/l of nickel sulphate with the addition of 50 g/l of Al2O3. The influence of zinc intermediate coating deposited in single, double and triple layers on the adhesion of nickel coating to aluminium substrate was also studied. The adhesion was measured by the thermal shock technique in accordance with PN-EN ISO 2819. The microhardness of nickel coating before and after heat treatment was additionally tested.
It was observed that the number of zinc interlayers applied does not significantly affect the adhesion of nickel which is determined by thermal shock. No defect that occurs after the test, such as delamination, blistering or peeling of the coating was registered. Microhardness of the nickel coatings depends on the heat treatment and the amount of zinc in the interlayer. For both single and double zinc interlayer, the microhardness of the nickel coating containing Al2O3 particles increased after heat treatment, but decreased when a triple zinc interlayer was applied.