4. Summary and conclusions
We have prepared Ni–B nanocomposites by electroplating process using TMAB and the boron precursor in SYR-322 Watt's bath with suspended nanodiamond particles. Addition to TMAB content to the bath has a significant impact on the microstructure of the resulting coating. Direct current electroplated Ni films were prepared from Watt's solution and resulted in columnar structure with (200) texture. Although faceting was significantly lost with the addition of saccharine and SDS, the growth direction remained unchanged. Addition of TMAB to the process led to significant increase in hardness of the coatings under the as-deposit conditions as well as after a capillaries heat treatment.
The particle size of nanodiamond also has a remarkable impact on the hardness of the Ni films prepared from Watt's bath (without TMAB). The nanodiamond affects the nucleation and growth processes during electrodeposition of the Ni phase, changing grain size and texture of the plated film. Coatings prepared with the addition of nanodiamond and TMAB resulted only in slight improvements in hardness over films prepared only with nanodiamond, and the benefit was more noticed with the larger size particles.