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This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally
written up for the volume.
Recent advancements in various industries have necessitated the
development of new engineering materials exhibiting superior properties
of different character. For example, composite electroplating renders
excellent corrosion- and wear-resistant materials with good lubrication
behavior and chemical stability. Nanometer-sized diamond particles are
expected to be good dispersion materials in electro-less composite
plating. However, the processing conditions and characteristics of
metal/diamond composites are not well understood so far. In this
investigation, we developed new processes for co-deposition of
Ni-P/diamond composite films on steel plates using the commercial
electrolyte composed of nickel sulfate and sodium hypophosphite. No
additives were applied in this process as in the conventional methods for
the efficient dispersion of diamond particles. The diamond particles of a
few hundred nanometer size were dispersed in an ultrasonic bath of
de-ionized water. The zeta potential of the diamond solution was measured
prior to the incorporation into the electrolyte. The morphology of the
prepared films was characterized by FESEM. Based on the FESEM images, the
size distribution of the diamond particles was determined using an image
analyzer program. The micro-hardness, the coefficient of friction, and
the corrosion potential were measured by Vickers hardness tester,
tribometer and potentiometer, respectively. The present experimental
results revealed remarkable differences in the values of the
micro-hardness, the coefficient of friction, and the corrosion potential,
compared to those of conventional diamond-free electro-less Ni-P plates.
Process conditions were optimized in terms of the concentration of
diamond particles, ultrasonic dispersion time, and pH of the electrolyte.
As the concentration of diamond particles increased from 0.5to 3g/l, the
zeta potential was decreasing with more particles aggregated. The higher
the diamond concentration, the higher the volume fraction of diamond
particles co-deposited in the nickel matrix. In turn, the coefficient of
friction and corrosion potential increasd with the increasing diamond
concentration. The particle size distribution was the most uniform in the
samples prepared at the concentration of 1.0g/l. The best mechanical
properties were obtained when the dispersion time was 30min. and the pH
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