Nanodiamonds May be Key to Environmentally Friendly Coating Replacement for Chrome Plating

Nanodiamonds, miniature diamonds with diameters around 5nm can be used in a range of applications but are poorly understood. Initial research into nanodiamonds include obvious applications like polishing, lubrication and biomedical applications. Another promising application is their incorporation with metals for the enhancement of chemical and electrochemical deposition or plating. Using nanodiamonds may allow nickel based coatings to replace chrome based coatings that require toxic chemicals for their production.

It is known that coating properties are improved upon the addition of nanodiamond particles to the deposition bath, but the mechanism by which this works is under dispute.

The aim of this collaborative study between researchers from Drexel University and Nanoblox is to investigate the structure and mechanical properties of Ni-B coatings plated with and without nanodiamond additives to the deposition bath and to gain better insight into the role of nanodiamond in the Ni-B deposition process.

The researchers found that nanodiamond additives improved the hardness, modulus and ductility of electroless deposited Ni-B coatings. The effect is believed to be due to refinement of the dendrite size and fine-grain structure of the coating produced in the presence of nanodiamond.

The article is available to view at

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