Cr–C–Al2O3 deposits with different Al2O3 concentrations were successfully prepared on a Cu substrate from Cr3+-based electroplating baths. The microstructures of the Cr–C–Al2O3 deposits were examined using optical, scanning, and transmission electron microscopes. The hardness values, the corrosion and wear resistance of the Cr–C and Cr–C–Al2O3 deposited specimens were evaluated. Based on the experimental results, Al2O3 nanoparticles were uniformly distributed within the Cr–C deposits after electroplating in a Cr3+-based plating bath. The hardness values of the Cr–C–Al2O3 deposits increased with the Al2O3 concentration in the electroplating bath. The corrosion resistance of the Cr–C-deposited specimens could be noticeably improved by adding Al2O3 nanoparticles to the deposit. This is attributed to decrease in the number of cracks in the Cr–C specimens codeposited with Al2O3 nanoparticles. According to the transmission electron microscopy study, the crack-reduction mechanism in the Cr–C–Al2O3 deposits was proposed. The Cr–C–Al2O3 deposited specimen, which was prepared in an electroplating bath with an Al2O3 concentration of 50 g/L, had a relatively high corrosion resistance compared to the other specimens.
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The authors would like to thank the National Science Council of the Republic of China (ROC) for their support of this work under Contract No.: 98-2221-E-182-016-MY2.
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