2024 Al alloys were firstly deposited with pure Ti film (~5.0 μm in thickness) using magnetron sputtering, then plasma nitrided for 8 h at 490 °C under N2–H2 gas mixtures with different N2 content (15, 40 and 50%). The Ti–N and Ti–Al diffusion reactions were activated simultaneously on the surface of Al alloy to obtain duplex coatings. The results showed that the duplex coatings were composed of nitride/aluminide layers (TiN0.3/Al3Ti/Al18Ti2Mg3 layers). With increasing the N2 content in the gas mixture, the peak ratio I(002)/I(100) of the outer TiN0.3 phase increased and the nitride particles grew larger. The surface hardness of coatings increased with the increasing N2–H2 ratio, reaching the maximum value of 630 HV under 50%N2 + 50%H2. The coatings obtained under gas mixture with high N content showed larger fluctuation at the initial stage during friction tests. All the obtained coatings showed the similar friction coefficient (~0.30) at the stable stage, much lower than the untreated Al alloy (~0.45). The sample nitrided under 50%N2 + 50%H2 exhibited the lowest wear rate, 60% lower than that of the uncoated one. The nitrided samples exhibited predominant abrasive wear and adhesive wear.
2024 Al alloy Plasma nitriding Intermetallic coating Microstructure Wear resistance
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1537201), Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (Grant No. 16JCQNJC03500), Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (Grant No. E2017202066) for the financial support of this research work.
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