Influence of Powder Morphology and Microstructure on the Cold Spray and Mechanical Properties of Ti6Al4V Coatings
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The powder microstructure and morphology has significant influence on the cold sprayability of Ti6Al4V coatings. Here, we compare the cold sprayability and properties of coatings obtained from Ti6Al4V powders of spherical morphology (SM) manufactured using plasma gas atomization and irregular morphology (IM) manufactured using the Armstrong process. Coatings deposited using IM powders had negligible porosity and better properties compared to coatings deposited using SM powders due to higher particle impact velocities, porous surface morphology and more deformable microstructure. To evaluate the cohesive strength, multi-scale indentation was performed and hardness loss parameter was calculated. Coatings deposited using SM powders exhibited poor cohesive strength compared to coatings deposited using IM powders. Images of the residual indents showed de-bonding and sliding of adjacent splats in the coatings deposited using SM powders irrespective of the load. Coatings deposited using IM powders showed no evidence of de-bonding at low loads. At high loads, splat de-bonding was observed resulting in hardness loss despite negligible porosity. Thus, while the powders from Armstrong process lead to a significant improvement in sprayability and coating properties, further optimization of powder and cold spray process will be required as well as consideration of post-annealing treatments to obtain acceptable cohesive strength.
KeywordsArmstrong process cold spray nanoindentation particle morphology Ti6Al4V titanium alloys
The authors are thankful for the technical assistance from Jean-Francois Alarie, Dina Goldbaum and Maniya Aghasibeig. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Rene Cooper from Cristal Metals for providing the irregular Ti6Al4V powders.
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