The electrodeposition of multifunctional composite coatings has rapidly emerged in the last decade due to the enhanced mechanical properties and corrosion resistance that such composite coatings exhibit compared to electroplated single metal and alloy deposits. Many studies have indicated that the implementation of ultrasound in composite electroplating processes can bring about many benefits, not only as a tool to improve the dispersion and de-agglomeration of particles in the electroplating bath, but also to enhance the incorporation of finely dispersed and uniformly distributed particles into the metal matrix. The present paper summarizes the fundamentals of the use of ultrasound and acoustic cavitation and how it may influence the electrodeposition of composite coatings with particles by commenting on some of the most significant works on this topic presented by the scientific community in the last 10 years. This paper will review these investigations and discuss how the ultrasonic parameters may affect the dispersion of the particles in the electrolyte and its effect on the characteristics of the composite coatings, generally resulting in the enhancement of the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of the composite coatings. In addition, this paper will review some of the issues that may arise when using ultrasound in such processes and the pros and cons of the different transducer systems available, highlighting the need for detailed information regarding the ultrasonic parameters and equipment used when utilising sonication.
Bibliographical noteNOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Surface and Coatings Technology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Surface and Coatings Technology [Vol 259, part C, 2014] DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2014.06.023.
- composite coatings