Hardness and tribological behaviour of annealed electroless nickel phosphorus composite layers with incorporated boron particles Journalartikel uri icon



  • In this study, a possible alternative to hard chromium coatings is investigated. Amorphous boron particles have been incorporated in electroless nickel‑phosphorus (NiP) deposits, yielding a dispersion coating. The distribution of the particles is homogenous and the maximum mass fraction of particles embedded in the coating is 6.2 ± 0.2 wt%. Measurements of the zeta potential and particle size of amorphous boron particles in a diluted electrolyte showed that the particles withstood agglomeration until 120 days. Primary and secondary hardness maxima are observed after thermal annealing at 400 °C and 860 °C due to the formation of nickel phosphide, nickel boride and nickel boride phosphide phases. X-ray diffractometry shows an increase in nickel and nickel phosphide crystal size at 400 °C before levelling off at 600 °C. The annealing duration should be kept between 30 and 60 min for optimal hardness. The wear resistance increases when the coating is annealed at 400 °C. DSC measurements on nickel phosphorus incorporated with boron particles, Ni-P-B, bulk material with P-content (9.6 ± 0,6 wt%) and B-content (4.5 ± 0.8 wt%) showed that the solidus line lies at 926 °C, which is why a maximum annealing temperature of 860 °C was chosen to avoid melting of the material. The relative texture and phase coefficients, RTC and RPC, showed that the nickel phase is preferred in the NiP system at 400 °C and 600 °C while the Ni3P phase is preferred in the Ni-P-B system at the same annealing temperature. REM and EDX area analyses are used to show the areal distribution of nickel, phosphorus, and boron before and after the annealing process along the thickness of the coating. A diffusion layer between substrate and coating that contains iron nickel boride and iron nickel phosphide lamellar structure is observed.


  • 2023


  • Peer-Reviewed


  • false