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Surface Nanocrystallization of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy: Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization

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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.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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