Description: A Ni/TiC/C metal matrix composite (MMC) has been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process from commercially available powders with a Ni-3Ti-20C (atomic %) composition. This processing route produces the in-situ formation of homogeneously distributed eutectic and primary titanium carbide and graphite precipitates throughout the Ni matrix. The composite exhibits promising tribological properties when tested in dry sliding conditions with a low steady state coefficient of friction (CoF) of ~0.1 and lower wear rates in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni. The as deposited and tribologically worn composite has been characterized using Auger electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), dual beam focused ion beam SEM (FIB/SEM) serial sectioning and Vickers micro-hardness testing. The evolution of subsurface stress states and precipitate motion during repeated sliding contact has been investigated using finite element analysis (FEA). The results of FIB/SEM serial sectioning, HRTEM, and Auger electron spectroscopy in conjunction with FEA simulations reveal that the improved tribological behavior is due to the in-situ formation of a low interfacial shear strength amorphous carbon tribofilm that is extruded to the surface via refined Ni grain boundaries.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Mogonye, Jon-Erik