Date: December 2010
Creator: Gopagoni, Sundeep
Description: Ni/TiC metal matrix composites have been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process. As nickel does not form an equilibrium carbide phase, addition of a strong carbide former in the form of titanium reinforces the nickel matrix resulting in a promising hybrid material for both surface engineering as well as high temperature structural applications. Changing the relative amounts of titanium and carbon in the nickel matrix, relatively low volume fraction of refined homogeneously distributed carbide precipitates, formation of in-situ carbide precipitates and the microstructural changes are investigated. The composites have been characterized in detail using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (including energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) mapping and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)), Auger electron spectroscopy, and transmission (including high resolution) electron microscopy. Both primary and eutectic titanium carbides, observed in this composite, exhibited the fcc-TiC structure (NaCl-type). Details of the orientation relationship between Ni and TiC have been studied using SEM-EBSD and high resolution TEM. The results of micro-hardness and tribology tests indicate that these composites have a relatively high hardness and a steady-state friction coefficient of ~0.5, both of which are improvements in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni.
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