The erosion performance of cold spray deposited metal matrix composite coatings with subsequent friction stir processing

Peat, Tom and Galloway, Alexander and Toumpis, Athanasios and McNutt, Philip and Iqbal, Naveed (2017) The erosion performance of cold spray deposited metal matrix composite coatings with subsequent friction stir processing. Applied Surface Science, 396. pp. 1635-1648. ISSN 0169-4332 (

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This study forms an initial investigation into the development of SprayStir, an innovative processing technique for generating erosion resistant surface layers on a chosen substrate material. Tungsten carbide – cobalt chromium, chromium carbide – nickel chromium and aluminium oxide coatings were successfully cold spray deposited on AA5083 grade aluminium. In order to improve the deposition efficiency of the cold spray process, coatings were co-deposited with powdered AA5083 using a twin powder feed system that resulted in thick (>300 µm) composite coatings. The deposited coatings were subsequently friction stir processed to embed the particles in the substrate in order to generate a metal matrix composite (MMC) surface layer. The primary aim of this investigation was to examine the erosion performance of the SprayStirred surfaces and demonstrate the benefits of this novel process as a surface engineering technique. Volumetric analysis of the SprayStirred surfaces highlighted a drop of approx. 40% in the level of material loss when compared with the cold spray deposited coating prior to friction stir processing. Micro-hardness testing revealed that in the case of WC-CoCr reinforced coating, the hardness of the SprayStirred material exhibits an increase of approx. 540% over the unaltered substrate and 120% over the as-deposited composite coating. Microstructural examination demonstrated that the increase in the hardness of the MMC aligns with the improved dispersion of reinforcing particles throughout the aluminium matrix.