Dispersion deposition is the targeted integration of foreign substances into electroplated layers. The metal layer forms the matrix for integrating particles with varying attribute profiles. These particles are generally insoluble in electroplating electrolytes and have a diameter varying between a few nanometers and 0.5 mm and are made of anything from hard materials to dry lubricants. Even encapsulated liquids can be integrated into metal layers.
The targeted addition of particles enables layer systems to be modified in a specific way. This ability to adapt them to requirements is opening up new areas of application.
Integrating a dry lubricant gives a layer enhanced gliding properties.
Liquid-filled nanocapsules and microcapsules containing specific active substances, such as lubricants and corrosion inhibitors, can also be incorporated into the metal layer. When the capsules are subjected to chemical or mechanical stress, these substances are released and start to take effect.
Where components require abrasive properties, e.g. drill bits or cutting edges, hard materials such as diamond are usually embedded in a metal matrix. The service life of components can also be extended. By using electrolytes tailored to specific requirements, the performance of layers can be greatly improved. The main aspects requiring consideration in this regard are residual layer stress levels, the targeted use of wetting agents and optimized particle integration.