Surface Nanocrystallization of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy: Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization
In this study, microstructural and mechanical properties of Ti-6Al-4V alloy, before and after the SMA treatment (SMAT) as well as the duplex SMAT/Nitriding process at different treatment conditions, were investigated in order to deepen the knowledge of these properties for biomedical devices. For that purpose, tribological (wear resistance, coefficient of friction) and mechanical (Vickers microhardness) tests were performed. To carry out the microstructural and surface topographical characterization of the samples, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the 3D-SEM reconstruction from stereoscopic images have been used. By means of profiles deduced from the 3D images, the surface roughness has been calculated. The obtained results allowed to find an interesting SMAT condition which, followed by nitriding at low temperature, can greatly improve tribological and mechanical properties of Ti-6Al-4V alloy. It was also shown from SEM characterization and the original method of 3D-SEM reconstruction, that SMAT can reduce the machined grooves and consequently the roughness of the samples decreases. Moreover, we demonstrated, for the first time, that instead of usual etching method, the ionic polishing allowed to reveal the grains, the grain boundaries and the twins as well as the surface nanocrystalline layer generated by SMAT. Thus, the thickness of the SMATed layer decreases with the nitriding temperature, whereas the surface grain size increases.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-06-01
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