Wear Resistance Improvement of Titanium Bearings by Laser Gas Nitriding
The influence of gas nitriding of commercial pure titanium and Ti-6Al-4V (Ti64) alloy by using a Q-sw laser on the wear loss during rolling contact fatigue is investigated. Despite very good biocompatibility, high strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistance, the tribological properties of titanium alloys are inferior to those of other metal alloys, such as steel. Fretting and wear related aspects become important issues when titanium alloys are used in rolling contact applications. Titanium bearings are employed in applications requiring high strength, light weight, and minimum maintenance (for example, aerospace and defense industries). In this work, a Q-sw laser was used to coat pure commercial titanium and Ti-6Al-4V bearings with TiN in a closed chamber in nitrogen atmosphere. The samples were tested under water by using a thrust-type rolling contact fatigue machine. The microstructure, morphology and crystallographic texture of the layers were observed by laser confocal microscope, scanning electron microscope and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). By optimizing the laser processing parameters, such as laser scanning speed, power and beam diameter, thin TiN coats of 1 to 3 m were produced. The wear loss of the coated samples was at least ten times lower than that of the uncoated bearings.
J. Rozwadowska et al., "Wear Resistance Improvement of Titanium Bearings by Laser Gas Nitriding", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 217-218, pp. 988-993, 2011