Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Coating of light weight valves

Functional surfaces designed to withstand severe working conditions are produced by means of laser surface treatments using additive materials on lightweight metals selected for car engine valves (aluminium alloys for intake valves -hypereutectic Al-Si made by various methods, such as “spray forming”-, and intermetallic Ti-Al for the exhaust valves).

The coating systems were developed to improve the material properties that are fundamental in engine valves: good wear resistance, high superficial hardness, good corrosion resistance and adequate thermal stability. Different materials were selected for the coatings. They are deposited using a high power diode laser on targets of the aluminium and Ti-Al intermetallic alloys.

In automotive applications, these coatings could allow the use of lightweight alloys instead of traditional steels while maintaining good material properties. The coatings have been characterised and tested in order to evaluate their properties for the engine valve application. Results have been transferred to prototypes of new valves.

The prototypes have undergone testing to validate the introduction of these metal-coating pairs in engine valves. The results obtained could be applied to other fields of industry, mainly: aerospace, rail and transport vehicles (other automotive components), machine tools, forging, injection and casting tools, shipbuilding, energy generation, packaging.

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