The combined corrosion-wear degradation of nano-structured Ni-SiC coatings in sliding contacts immersed in electrically conductive solutions is investigated in situ by electrochemical techniques (open-circuit potential measurements, E-OC, the potentiodynamic polarization measurements, PD, and the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), The coating thickness was 50 mu m, with an average volume of dispersed phases inside nickel of 20%. The samples were tested in a cell, containing the electrolyte and electrodes, and mounted on a pin-on-disk tribometer, with the working surface of the specimen facing upwards. Both continuous and intermittent friction tests were carried out. In the intermittent tests, friction was applied periodically: during each cycle, friction was first applied for 2 s at constant sliding speed under constant normal load and then stopped during a latency time of 20 s or 0.5 s. Without friction, the free potential reaches a passive value after immersion in the test solution. When friction force is applied the free potential is shutting down to active values. Under friction the measured current, I can be considered as the sum of two partial currents: one generated by the wear track areas, where the passive film is destroyed and the surface is active; the other one linked to the surface not subjected to friction and that remains in the passive state. A localised corrosion process when subjected to friction in 0.5 M K2SO4 was not observed on nano-structured Ni-SiC composite coatings. The mechanical destruction of the passive film occurs in the wear track by friction and subsequent restoration of the film (repassivation) when friction stops. The wear volume loss increases with sliding forces. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.