16 January 2017
The HardAlt project has developed innovative electrolytic nano-structured Ni-P and Ni-P matrix composite coatings with enhanced mechanical and anti-corrosion as an alternative to thermal spraying and hard chromium plating.
Concept and Objectives of HardAlt in detail
The substitution of hard Cr coatings with suitable alternatives exhibiting the same or even enhanced functional properties whilst at the same time being produced by a fast and efficient way demands the combination of knowledge from different scientific and technological fields: companies from electroplating sector and metal finishing, chemical companies with the contribution of relevant research and developing actors. The idea is based on the total substitution of hard Cr plating, which is characterized by a hazardous procedure due to the existence of Cr+6 in the electroplating bath, with a less dangerous and more efficient way.
The concept of the project is to produce both pure Ni-P and composite Ni-P coatings reinforced with particles such as SiC, WC or Al203 that will exhibit similar or even enhanced functional properties compared to hard Cr. Electroplating parameters such as pH & temperature of the bath, current density and Pulse Current parameters (frequency and duty cycle) control and impose the microstructure of the produced coatings in terms of composition, grain size and surface morphology. By appropriate imposition of electroplating parameters and thermal treatment where necessary, coatings with a wide range of properties can be produced by using the same infrastructure and thus meet the needs of the majority of applications where hard Cr is used.