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Al-based alloys, because of their low density and good mechanical and corrosion properties, are very attractive for many industries. However, their wear resistance remains rather poor, which limits their fields of application. Electron beam (EB) surface alloying can improve the mechanical behaviour, in particular the wear resistance, by grain refinement after rapid solidification and possibly by inner precipitation of hardening elements. EB surface alloying of aluminium plasma sprayed onto a copper substrate was carried out. Various phases, some ductile, others hard, formed in the remelted layer. Their content and distribution were investigated using optical and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectrometry and X-ray diffraction analysis. EB processing parameters were studied and optimised to achieve fairly homogeneous alloyed layers suitable for wear resistance applications due to their composite microstructure. Fundamentals of the process are discussed in the light of the Al-Cu phase diagram, although not all transformations obey the equilibrium conditions.

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Authors: JEANDIN M, Ecole des Mines de Paris, Centre de Matériaux P.M. Fourt, Evry (FR);DOS SANTOS MARQUES F, JRC Ispra (IT);BROSSA F, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: IV International Conference on Surface Modification Technologies, Paris (FR), Nov. 6-9, 1990
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 35820 ORA
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