Partnering opportunity

Composite Coating of Chromium and Nanodiamonds


Technology for direct electrochemical deposition of Cr and nanodiamonds (ND) composite coating on steel, sintered Fe-powder materials, and on Al-alloys, is developed. The main advantage related to the presence of the ND is that the physical and chemical properties of the coating are improved. Hardness and wear resistance are 6-10 times higher than those of the matrix material. The improved Cr coating can be applied on items exposed to strong abrasive wear and/or severe corrosive environment.

Partner sought

- Type of partner sought: partners from the research sector and industrial partners; - Specific area of activity of the partner: research and industrial partners working in the field of: coatings and nano-materials, production of steel items intended for corrosive environment; - Task to be performed: research cooperation agreements joint project development with research institutes for testing and modelling of the technology and industrial partners for verification in industrial conditions; technical cooperation agreements with industrial partners for adaptation in industrial conditions as the Bulgarian research team will provide expertise and know-how in order to meet the new market needs.


Chrome plating is a method that involves the application of a thin layer of chromium onto another metal through electroplating. It is practiced principally for two main reasons: for decorative uses and for engineering purposes. Additionally, it is done to provide a great degree of toughness on the surface to increase wear resistance, lessen friction and increase corrosion resistance. The chromium coating is produced by electrolytic process using the developed technology. The nanodiamond particles are added to the electrolyte as a water suspension and their concentrations in the chromating solution is also specified in order to improve the surface properties. The size of the nanodiamonds is 3 to 10 nm, they possess large specific surface area (to 450 m2/g) and high surface energy. Thus, the coating adheres very strongly to the substrate surface. It is homogenous with controlled thickness usually within the range of 25 – 30 µm. There are no cracks and pores in it. The hardness of the surface is increased from 250 MPa for carbon steel C45 to 11500 MPa for the chromium coating modified with nanodiamonds. And also the wear resistance of this coating is 10 times bigger than that of carbon steel. This coating possesses high corrosion resistance in corrosive environment – 9 grade out of 10 according to EN ISO 9227/2006. The research institution seeks research cooperation agreements for joint project development with other research institutes (to test and model the technology further) and industrial partners; technical cooperation agreements - verification in industrial conditions.

Advantages and innovations

• The coating is homogenous; its thickness can be controlled and usually is within the range of 25 – 30 µm. There are no cracks and pores in comparison with the widely used method. • The wear resistance of the coating is 6 times bigger than that of carbon steel. The wear resistance of the sintered ferrous products is increased also. • The coatings possess high corrosion resistance in corrosive environment – 9 grade out of 10 according to EN ISO 9227/2006. • The corrosion resistance of sintered iron compacts is normally poor, due to interconnected porosity. The composite chromium and nanodiamonds coating decreases significantly their corrosion rate.

Development stage

Available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

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