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Nanocomposite Coatings

  • 18 Mar 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

A group of scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D center of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) have developed a process for size-selective deposition of nanocomposite coatings.

Key Points

  • Nanocomposite coatings are formed by mixing two or more dissimilar materials at nanoscale to improve the physical, chemical and physicochemical properties of the new materials.
  • The scientists have found that nickel tungsten-based coatings with infusion of particular sized Silicon Carbide (SiC) submicron particles using a pulsed electroplating can provide an excellent combination of wear and corrosion resistance.

Need for Nanocomposite Coatings:

  • Several aerospace, defence, automobile, space devices need to reduce friction, wear, and tear to enhance the life of components.
  • Lubricating these dynamic systems add to the cost, complexity, and weight of these systems.
  • The coating could help in reducing the friction of such devices.

Advantages of the Process

  • The nanocomposite coating demonstrated excellent tribological behavior (science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion, which includes principles of friction, lubrication, and wear) compared to other wear-resistant coatings.
  • The coatings withstood 1000 hours of salt spray (corrosion) without degradation when compared to conventional wear-resistant coatings.
  • The process is highly economical without environmental constraints.


  • Electroplating or electrodeposition is a process that employs an electrical signal provided by an external power source to reduce cations of a desired metal in solution and produce a metallic coating.
  • It involves the metal parts to be immersed in an electrolyte bath solution.
  • In this case, it is typically prepared by dissolving crystals of Nickel (Ni) and Tungsten (W) salts in a mix of distilled water and other additives.
  • A Direct Current (DC) is passed through the solution, and the resulting reaction leaves a deposit of Ni-W alloy on the piece being plated.

Size-Selective Electrodeposition:

  • For size-selective electrodeposition, Pulse Current (PC) electrodeposition – intermittent application of current is used in place of conventional Direct Current (DC) deposition.

Source: PIB

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