Intermetallic Coating Using a 3-Dimensional Micro Welder
The authors have studied a new method of intermetallic coating using a small TIG welder. This method is based on a reaction between small liquid beads produced from very thin metal wire and the substrate metal surface. The authors designed a computer-aided 3-dimensional micro welder (3DMW) for a previous study on freeform fabrication of intermetallics, and have applied it to this study on intermetallic coating. In this study, a predetermined length of thin aluminum wire was fed onto the titanium substrate surface, and a spark was stricken from a thin electrode of a W-Ce2O3 alloy to make a small aluminum liquid bead on the titanium substrate surface and to simultaneously melt a small area of the substrate surface beneath the liquid bead. All process conditions had been programmed beforehand, including the length of the wire feeding per spark, the position of the electrode, electric power, movement of the stage holding the substrate, etc. The liquid bead containing aluminum and titanium rapidly solidified on the titanium substrate surface producing titanium aluminides on it. Repetition of the aluminum wire feeding, the electrode positioning and the spark striking produced a coating layer consisting of sub-layers of TiAl3, TiAl and Ti3Al from the surface side to the substrate side. Vickers hardness and wear resistance of the coated sample were remarkably improved.
Akira Kawasaki, Akinaga Kumakawa and Masayuki Niino
K. Matsuura et al., "Intermetallic Coating Using a 3-Dimensional Micro Welder", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 631-632, pp. 259-264, 2010