Electrodeposition and Characterization of Ni/Al2O3 Nanocomposite Coatings
The composite coatings containing of nanocrystalline Ni matrix and hard nano-sized γ-Al2O3 were electrodeposited in a system with a rotating disk electrode. The bath composition (nickel salts and buffer concentration, presence of surface-active agents and inert particles) influence on kinetics of Ni electrodeposition as well as on structural properties (morphology, phase composition, texture, residual stresses) and microhardness of Ni/Al2O3 coatings has been investigated. SEM and TEM studies show more uniform arrangement of Al2O3 particles in the matrix, however a tendency to agglomeration is observed. Surfactant application to a saccharine containing bath effectively improves the dispersion of nanoparticles into the nickel matrix. The addition of Al2O3 particles results in decrease of the average Ni crystallite size. The introduction of additive into electrolyte solution resulted in change of stress character of composite coatings (from tensile to compressive). The microhardness of Ni matrix was enhanced (about 40%) due to incorporation of ceramic particles.