AZ31D magnesium alloy is widely used in automotive, aircraft, and aerospace applications because of its high strength to weight ratio. However, the softness of the alloy results in higher wear rate and the high activity results in higher corrosion rate. With an aim of reducing the wear rate and corrosion rate of AZ31 alloy, surface composite of AZ31 alloy is fabricated by reinforcing niobium carbide (NbC) by friction stir processing. The microstructure and dispersion of the reinforcements in AZ31-NbC surface composite is analysed by optical microscopy. In addition, the microhardness and tribological characteristics of the developed AZ31-NbC surface composite are investigated. The results demonstrated an increase in microhardness (23.2 %) and the decrease in wear rate (15.6 % for a normal load of 2 kg) in the developed AZ31-NbC surface composite with respect to the base material. The immersion corrosion test was performed to analyse the corrosion rate of the developed AZ31-NbC surface composite in simulated sea water environment (3.5 wt % NaCl solution). The results indicate that the corrosion rate of the developed AZ31-NbC surface composite is higher than that of base material. A comprehensive analysis on the wear and corrosion mechanism of the developed AZ31-NbC surface composite is presented.
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