Electroless nickel; electroless bath; composite coating
Since the inception of electroless coating by Brenner & Riddell in 1946, it has been the subject of research interest and, in the past two decades, emphasis has shifted to the studies of its properties and applications. The co-deposition of paniculate matter or substance within the growing film has led to a new generation of electroless composite coatings, many of which possess excellent wear and corrosion resistance. This valuable process can coat not only electrically conductive materials including graphite but also fabrics, insulators like plastics, rubber etc. The low coating rates with these can provide better reflectivity of plated surfaces and many more applications. Coatings can be tailored for desired properties by selecting the composition of the coating alloy/composite/metallic to suit specific requirements. The market for these coatings is expanding fast as the potential applications are on the rise. In the present article, an attempt has been made to review different electroless alloy/composite coatings with respect to bath types and their composition, properties and applications. Different characterisation studies have been conducted on various electroless nickel-based coatings with emphasis on wear and corrosion properties.