Abstract For enhanced cavitation erosion resistance of vessel propellers, an electroless Ni-P plating method was introduced
to form a coating layer with high hardness on the surface of Cu alloy (CAC703C) used as vessel propeller material. An
electroless Ni-P plating reaction generated by Fe atoms in the Cu alloy occurred, forming a uniform amorphous layer with P
content of ~10 wt%. The amorphous layer transformed to (Ni3P+Ni) two phase structure after heat treatment. Cavitation erosion
tests following the ASTM G-32 standard were carried out to relate the microstructural changes by heat treatment and the
cavitation erosion resistance in distilled water and 3.5 wt% NaCl solutions. It was possible to obtain excellent cavitation erosion
resistance through careful microstructural control of the coating layer, demonstrating that this electroless Ni-P plating process
is a viable coating process for the enhancement of the cavitation erosion resistance of vessel propellers.