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The paper discusses the analysis of a coating defect on a high phosphorus electroless nickel (Ni-11 wt. % P) deposit plated on an aluminum alloy substrate. Preliminary investigations had indicated that the elongated defects were possibly caused by the entrapment of long fibers or particles during the plating. The possible sources of fibers were identified. The SEM/EDS analysis of fibers collected from the air duct filters correlated very well with the defect shape and the EDS profile collected from under the defect site. It appears that the fibers from air duct filters directly above the plating line were blown into the plating tank and getting co-deposited. The paper describes the step-by-step analysis of the defect that led to successful identification of the root cause of the defect.

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