Russian Researchers Develop Improved Method for Bonding Coatings on Aluminium Alloys

Researchers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and the Institute of High Current Electronics in the Russian Federation have formulated a method for applying wear-resistant coatings on metals using aluminium alloys.

The method under development uses silumin, a group of aluminium alloys that are particularly corrosion resistant, lightweight and strong. Rather than applying coatings in the traditional manner, researchers have come up with a method involving the use of an intense pulsed electron beam.

According to studies, the method improves the metal’s hardness sixfold and increases wear resistance by three times.

“These metals have low weight, good corrosion resistance,” explained Maria Rygina, graduate student of the TPU Department of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies. “To use them in air and space engineering we only need to modify their strength and tribological properties: to improve hardness and wear resistance.”

“Now the main challenge is adhesion between coating and substrate. If coating is simply deposited, then it can be easily removed,” said project head Professor Yuri Ivanov. “Foreign research teams are looking for a solution to this issue by forming multi-layer coating. However, multi-layer deposition takes a long time. We offer fusing coating in substrate: this takes microseconds, and adhesion is significantly improved.”

The method is being utilized to produce woodworking tools and mechanical engineering components. However, researchers believe that the process may have a future in the production of internal mechanisms in the aerospace industry.

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