In this paper the influence of a mid-phosphorous electroless nickel coating on EN-AW 2618A was studied. Special emphasis was put on the metalturn-over (MTO) and a heat treatment on the coating properties and their influence on the fatigue properties. The increasing MTO leads to an increase in phosphorous content resulting in a reduction of hardness, while the ductility is much less affected. The low temperature heat treatment increases the hardness through a crystal growth. The fatigue tests show, that the electroless nickel coating can both have a positive as well as a negative influence on the fatigue properties. At higher mechanical stresses the deposit tends to reduce the lifetime, while at lower loads the lifetime gets increased. The reduction of lifetime is caused by defects in the coating which act as stress concentrators. An increase in MTO leads to a higher amount of coating defects and therefore a higher possibility for a reduction of the lifetime. Further research has to focus on the growth mechanisms of those defects since their influence seems to be more significant than other factors like the phosphorous content.
The principles of energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) technique and its elemental analysis applications were described in some books and reviews [1-4]. PCBs are an important application for nickel-phosphorus (NiP) coatings, on top of which, additional gold and/or palladium coatings are applied. Phosphorous concentration of chemically (or electroless) deposited nickel-phosphorus (NiP) coating can be analyzed in nondestructive manner in atmosphere without stripping Au and Pd coatings. The FP-based WinFTM software allows a reliable determination of both the mass per unit area of the NiP layer and its P concentration . The reproducibility and accuracy of the analysis is verified by means of certified standard reference material. Their quantification is traceable to accurate mass per unit area primary standards analyzed by several suitable techniques . The typical measurement spot size is about 1mm, but in case of micro-spot instruments even smaller spot sizes (less than 100 µm) are achievable.