Effect of heating rate on morphological features of oxidized electrolessnickel–boron coatings

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Materials Engineering Department, Shahreza Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahreza, Isfahan, Iran

2 Materials Engineering Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Isfahan, Iran


Due to the high hardness and wear resistance, electroless nickel-boron (Ni-B) coatings have found numerous applications. In the present study, the influence of the heating rate on the morphological features of oxidized electroless Ni-B coatings was investigated. The oxidation behavior of electroless coating layers was studied with TGA method under non-isothermal conditions at heating rates 5, 9 and 13 °C/min. The phase compositions, elemental constituents and microstructural characteristics were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques, respectively. Results showed that the morphological features of the oxidized coating were influenced significantly by the heating rate so that under the heating rate of 5 °C/min the morphology of oxidized layer was a porous film with an average pore size of around 2 μm. With increasing the heating rate to 9 °C/min, more recessed pores or intervals were gradually overlaid by a film. Further increasing the heating rate to 13°C/min caused to the formation of polygonal protuberances on the surface.


Main Subjects

1. R. C. Agarwala, V. Agarwala, Electroless alloy/composite coatings: a review, Sadhana, Vol. 28, 2003, pp. 475–493.
2. S. Kalyan Das, P. Sahoo, Influence of process parameters on microhardness of electroless Ni-B coatings, Advances in Mechanical Engineering 2012, 2012, pp. 1-11.
3. W. Riedel, Electroless nickel plating. Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK: Finishing Publications Ltd, 1991.
4. M.V. Ivanov, Electroless nickel–boron–phosphorus coatings: protective and functional properties, Prot Met (Translated from ZashchitaMetallov), Vol. 37, 2001, pp. 592–6.
5. F. Delaunois, J. P. Pelitjean, P. Lienard and M. Jacob-Duliere, Autocatalytic electroless nickel–boron plating on light alloys, Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 124, 2000, pp. 201–9.
6. B. Oraon, G. Majumdar and B. Ghosh, Improving hardness of electroless Ni–B coatings using optimized deposition conditions and annealing, Materials & Design, Vol. 29 2008, pp. 1412-1418.
7. K. Krishnaveni, T. S. N. Sankara Narayanan and S. K. Seshadri, Electroless Ni–B coatings: preparation and evaluation of hardness and wear resistance, Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 190, 2005, pp. 115-21.
8. Baskaran, R .S. Kumar, T. S. N. Sankara Narayanan and A. Stephen, Formation of electroless Ni–B coatings using low temperature bath and evaluation of their characteristic properties, Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 200, 2006, pp. 6888–94.
9. J. H. Lau, Low Cost Flip Chip Technologies for DCA, WLCSP, and PBGA Assemblies, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2000.
10. J. Simon, E. Zakel and H. Reich, Proceedings of the 40th Electronic Components and Technology Conference, New York, 1990, pp. 412–417.
11. J. W. Yoon, S. B. Jung, Effect of isothermal aging on the interfacial reactions between Sn–0.4Cu solder and Cu substrate with or without ENIG plating layer, Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 200, 2006, pp. 4440–4447.
12. J. Woong Choi, G. Ho Hwang, W. Kyu Han and S. Goon Kang, Phase transformation of Ni–B, Ni–P diffusion barrier deposited electrolessly on Cu interconnect, Applied Surface Science, Vol. 253, 2006, pp. 2171–8.
13. R. N. Duncan, T. L. Arney, Performance of electroless nickel coatings in food products, Plating and Surface Finishing, Vol. 71, 1984, pp. 49–54.
14. Y. M. Chow, W. M. Lau and Z. S. Karim, Surface properties and solderabilitybehaviour of nickel-phosphorus and nickel-boron deposited by electroless plating, Surface and Interface analysis, Vol. 31, 2001, pp. 321–7.
15. K. Krishnaveni, T. S. N. Sankara Narayanan and S. K. Seshadri, Electroless Ni-B coatings: preparation and evaluationof hardness and wear resistance, Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 190, 2005, pp. 115–121.
16. C. T. Dervos, J. Novakovic and P. Vassiliou, Vacuum heat treatment of electroless Ni-B coatings, Materials Letters, Vol. 58, 2004, pp. 619–23.
17. Y. Sawa, K. Yamashita, T. Kitadani, D. Noda and T. Hattori, Fabrication of high hardness Ni mold with electro less nickel boron thin layer, Microsystem Technologies, Vol. 16 2010, pp. 1369–75.
18. W. X. Zhang, Z. H. Jiang, G. Y. Li, Q. Jiang and J. S. Lian, Electro less Ni-P/Ni-B duplex coatings for improving the hardness and the corrosion resistance of AZ91D magnesium alloy, Applied Surface Science, Vol. 254 ,2008, pp. 4949-4955.
19. T. S. N. Sankara Narayanan, K. Krishnaveni and S. K. Seshadri, Electro less Ni–P/Ni–B duplex coatings: preparation and evaluation of micro hardness, wear and corrosion resistance, Materials Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 82, 2003, pp. 771-779.
20. L. Wang, L. Zhao, G. Huang, X. Yuan, B. Zhang and J. Zhang, Composition, structure and corrosion characteristics of Ni–Fe–P and Ni–Fe–P–B alloy deposits prepared by electro less plating, Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 126, 2000, pp. 272-278.
21. W. J. Tomlinson and G. R. Wilson, The oxidation of electro less Ni-B and Ni-P coatings in air at 800 to 1000 °C, Journal of Materials Science, Vol. 21, 1986, pp. 97-102.
22. S. Komiyama, Y. Sutou and J. Koike, Effect of heat treatment on the hardness of Ti-Mo-N films deposited by RF reactive magnetron sputtering, Materials Transactions, Vol. 51, 2010, pp. 1467–73.
23. S. S. Rayalu, J. S. Udhoji, S. U. Meshram, R. R. Naidu and S. Devotta, Estimation of crystallinity in flyash-based zeolite-A using XRD and IR spectroscopy, Current Science, Vol. 89, 2005, pp. 2147–51.
24. T. V. Gaevskaya, I. G. Novotortseva and L. S. Tsybulskaya, The effect of boron on the microstructure and properties of electrodeposited nickel films, Metal Finishing, Vol. 94, 1996, pp. 100–3.
25. P. S. Kumar and P. K. Nair, X-ray diffraction studies on the relative proportion and decomposition of amorphous phase in electroless Ni-B deposits, Nanostructured Materials, Vol. 4, 1994, pp. 183–98.
26. P. Heitjans, J. Karger, Diffusion in condensed matter: methods, materials, models (2nd ed.). Birkhauser, eds. 2005.