Ultrasound-assisted electrodeposition of thin nickel-based composite coatings with lubricant particles

Ignacio Tudela*, Yi Zhang, Madan Pal, Ian Kerr, Andrew J. Cobley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thin Ni composite coatings with hBN and WS2 particles were ultrasonically-electrodeposited on Cu with no need of a surfactant. Although the combination of mechanical agitation and ultrasound yielded the best dispersions, ultrasound on its own during plating yielded coatings with a more uniform distribution of particles. Ni/hBN and Ni/WS2 composite coatings electrodeposited under ultrasound were characterised by different methods: GD-OES to estimate particle content, XRD to analyse the preferred orientation, FIB-SEM to analyse the surface morphology and microstructure, and microhardness tests to measure the hardness. Whereas Ni/hBN composite coatings showed little difference compared to pure Ni deposits, the incorporation of WS2 into Ni had a significant effect on the preferred orientation, the surface morphology and the grain size of the coatings, refining the Ni crystal down to the nano-scale. The latter had a significant effect in the hardness of the coatings, despite the 'soft' nature of the WS2 particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Early online date20 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Composite coatings
  • Electrodeposition
  • Nickel
  • Ultrasound


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