Bonding Mechanisms in Cold Spraying: The Contributions of Metallurgical and Mechanical Components
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The mechanism of bonding in cold spraying is still a matter of some debate. In this work, copper has been cold sprayed onto aluminium alloy substrates, the surfaces of which had been prepared in a variety of ways. The coating-substrate bonding was assessed via a novel intermetallic growth method along with adhesive pull-off testing, and related to the substrate preparation method. The bond strength has been rationalized in terms of a modified composite strength model, with two operative bonding mechanisms, namely (i) metallurgical bonding and (ii) mechanical interlocking of substrate material into the coating. In most cases, mechanical interlocking is able to account for a large proportion of the total bond strength, with metallurgical bonding only contributing significantly when the substrate had been polished and annealed prior to spraying. In addition, grit-blasting has been shown to significantly reduce the bond strength compared to other substrate preparation methods.