The main aim of this study was to improve current efficiency and to obtain thicker coatings via aluminum oxide (Al2O3) addition to the chromium (Cr) (III) bath.
Pure Cr and nanocomposite Cr–Al2O3 coatings were electrodeposited from Cr (III) bath onto cathode copper substrates by conventional method. Dependence of current efficiency to current density, Al2O3 content and particle size were investigated.
Current efficiency increased with Al2O3 amount and decreased with Al2O3 particle size. Maximum current efficiency was achieved at 25 A/dm2 for pure Cr and 30 A/dm2 for composite coatings. Al2O3 bath content, current density and stirring rate increased the coating Al2O3 weight per cent significantly. Addition of Al3+ bath composition inhibited nanoparticle agglomeration, increasing film homogeneity. Cr–Al2O3 nanocomposites showed higher microhardness and better corrosion resistance than pure Cr layer.
Cr (III) is not as toxic and as carcinogenic as Cr (VI) which is widely used for Cr electroplating these days. Low current efficiency and poor product quality are, however, major drawbacks of the former. This paper describes significant improvements obtainable by addition of Al2O3 nanoparticles to the Cr (III) bath for increasing the microhardness, the corrosion resistance and the current efficiency of the deposition.
Financial support of Vice President of research of Sharif University of Technology under Quality Program No. 7100.14592 is appreciated.
Salehi Doolabi, M., Khatiboleslam Sadrnezhaad, S. and Salehi Doolabi, D. (2014), "Electroplating and characterization of Cr–Al2O3 nanocomposite film from a trivalent chromium bath", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 61 No. 4, pp. 205-214. https://doi.org/10.1108/ACMM-12-2012-1227
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