Cr-Fe-C alloy deposits were successfully prepared on high-carbon tool steel in a Cr3+
-based electroplating bath containing Fe2+
ions and suitable complex agents. A Cr-based alloy deposit was obtained with an electroplating current density higher than 25 Adm−2
, and a Fe-based alloy deposit was obtained using a current density of 20 Adm−2
. Following electroplating, these alloy deposited specimens were annealed via rapid thermal annealing (RTA) at 500 °C for different periods up to 30 s. The experimental results show that Cr- and Fe-based alloy deposits could be significantly hardened after RTA at 500 °C for a few seconds. The maximum hardness was that of the Cr-Fe-C alloy deposit annealed at 500 °C for 10 s. The maximum hardness of 1205 Hv was detected from the annealed Cr-based alloy deposit prepared with 30 ASD. The hardening mechanism of annealed Cr- and Fe-based alloy deposits is attributed to the precipitation of C-related membranes. The hardness values of the annealed Cr- and Fe-based alloy deposits increase with the increasing degree of crystallization of the C-related membranes.
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