Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 184-198

First online:

Interfacial heating during low-pressure cold-gas dynamic spraying of aluminum coatings

  • M. P. DewarAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta
  • , A. G. McDonaldAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta Email author 
  • , A. P. GerlichAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta

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Low-pressure cold spraying was used to deposit aluminum particles (~25 μm diameter) on to low carbon steel, and the particle–particle interactions of the aluminum coating were analyzed. A simplified energy conservation model was developed to estimate the temperature at the interface of the deformed particle during deposition of the powder. The Johnson–Cook model was used to calculate the particle flow stress, which was used to estimate the total energy dissipated via plastic deformation during impact and spreading of the particle. Microstructural analysis was conducted to show that plastic deformation occurred mainly at the interfacial regions of the deformed particles. By coupling microstructural observations of the cold-sprayed particles with the energy conservation model, it was found that the interface between the aluminum particles contained recrystallized ultra-fine and nanocrystalline grain structures that were likely formed at temperatures above 260 °C, but the majority of particles likely achieved interfacial temperatures which were lower than the melting point of aluminum (660 °C). This suggests that local melting is not likely to dominate the inter-particle bonding mechanism, and the resulting interfacial regions contain ultra-fine grain structures, which significantly contribute to the coating hardness.