Tribological Characteristic of Titanium Alloy Surface Layers Produced by Diode Laser Gas Nitriding

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In order to improve the tribological properties of titanium alloy Ti6Al4V composite surface layers Ti/TiN were produced during laser surface gas nitriding by means of a novel high power direct diode laser with unique characteristics of the laser beam and a rectangular beam spot. Microstructure, surface topography and microhardness distribution across the surface layers were analyzed. Ball-on-disk tests were performed to evaluate and compare the wear and friction characteristics of surface layers nitrided at different process parameters, base metal of titanium alloy Ti6Al4V and also the commercially pure titanium. Results showed that under dry sliding condition the commercially pure titanium samples have the highest coefficient of friction about 0.45, compared to 0.36 of titanium alloy Ti6Al4V and 0.1-0.13 in a case of the laser gas nitrided surface layers. The volume loss of Ti6Al4V samples under such conditions is twice lower than in a case of pure titanium. On the other hand the composite surface layer characterized by the highest wear resistance showed almost 21 times lower volume loss during the ball-on-disk test, compared to Ti6Al4V samples.

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