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Lubricated sliding wear behaviour of aluminium alloy composites

By J.C. Walker, W.M. Rainforth and H. Jones

Abstract

Interest in aluminium alloy (Al-alloy) composites as wear resistant materials continues to grow. However, the use of the popular Al-alloy-SiC composite can be limited by the abrasive nature of the SiC, leading to increased counterface wear rates. This study reports new Al-alloy composites that offer high wear resistance, to a level similar to Al-alloy-SiC. Aluminium alloy (2124, 5056) matrix composites reinforced by nominally 15 vol.% of Cr3Si, MoSi2, Ni3Al and SiC particles were prepared by a powder metallurgy route. The aluminium alloy matrix was produced by gas atomisation, and the Cr3Si, MoSi2 and Ni3Al were prepared by self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS), while the SiC was from a standard commercial supply. Following blending, the particulates were consolidated by extrusion, producing a homogenous distribution of the reinforcement in the matrix. Wear testing was undertaken using a pin-on-ring configuration against an M2 steel counterface, with a commercial synthetic oil lubricant, at 0.94 m/s and a normal load of 630 N, corresponding to initial Hertzian contact pressures of 750–890 MPa (the exact value depending on the material properties). Specific wear rates at sliding distances exceeding 400 km were in the range 4.5–12.7 × 10?10 mm3/Nm. The monolithic alloys gave the highest specific wear rates, while the MoSi2 and Cr3Si reinforced alloys exhibited the lowest. The worn surface has been analysed in detail using focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy to determine the sub-surface structural evolution and by tomographic reconstruction of tilted scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, to determine the local worn surface topography. Consequently, the wear mechanisms as a function of alloy composition and reinforcement type are discussed.<br/><br/

Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:157733
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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