Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 4899–4910 | Cite as

Evaluation of Tribological Properties of Thermally Sprayed Copper and Copper Alloy Coatings

  • Mohamed Ibrahim
  • Mohammed Abdul Samad
  • Khaled Al-Athel
  • Abul Fazal Arif
  • Nasirudeen Olalekan
Research Article - Mechanical Engineering


Thermally sprayed copper and copper alloy coatings are among the most widely used coating materials for several industrial and medical applications to serve various functions such as corrosion resistance, wear resistance and antibacterial coating applications. In the present study, wear behavior of twin arc spray Cu, Cu 4%Sn (tin bronze), Cu 17%Ni 10%Zn (German silver) and Cu 17%Al 1%Fe (aluminum bronze) coatings is investigated experimentally. Wear tests were conducted using ball-on-disk configuration against a 440C stainless steel ball as a counterface. The effect of normal load on the coefficient of friction and wear behavior was investigated. SEM and 3D optical profilometry were used to characterize the coatings in terms of morphology and surface roughness. It is observed that copper coatings with aluminum and tin bronzes have high wear resistance and low coefficient of friction among the tested coatings, mainly due to their high hardness and coherent splats. It was also found that wear rate increases with the normal load.


Twin arc spray Copper alloys Hardness Wear Friction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology through NSTIP Project # 15-ADV5209-04.


  1. 1.
    Grass, G.; Rensing, C.; Solioz, M.: Minireviews metallic copper as an antimicrobial surface. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(5), 1541–1547 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sharifahmadian, O.; Salimijazi, H.R.; Fathi, M.H.; Mostaghimi, J.; Pershin, L.: Relationship between surface properties and antibacterial behavior of wire arc spray copper coatings. Surf. Coat. Technol. 233, 74–79 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    He, J.; Zhang, F.; Mi, P.; Qin, Y.; Chen, K.; Yang, Y.; Zhang, J.; Yin, F.: Microstructure and wear behavior of nano C-rich TiCN coatings fabricated by reactive plasma spraying with Ti-graphite powders. Surf. Coat. Technol. 305, 215–222 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ebata, Y.; Matsumoto, S.; inventors; Taiho Kogyo Co Ltd, assignee. Copper alloy for bearing and bearing. United States patent application US 15/522,977. 2017 Nov 2Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jin, X.; Gao, L.; Liu, E.; Yu, F.; Shu, X.; Wang, H.: Microstructure, corrosion and tribological and antibacterial properties of Ti-Cu coated stainless steel. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater. 50, 23–32 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pamies-Teixeira, J.J.; Saka, N.; Suh, N.P.: Wear of copper-based solid solutions. Wear 44, 65–75 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Naga, S.A.R.; Selmy, A.I.; Hassan, M.A.: Mechanical wear behaviour of copper-base alloys. Tribol. Int. 23, 35–40 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Montgomery, R.S.: The sliding behaviors of copper alloys. Wear 87, 339–349 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mokhtar, M.O.A.: The effect of hardness on the frictional behaviour of metals. Wear 78, 297–304 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Xiao, J.; Zhang, W.; Liu, L.; Gan, X.; Zhou, K.; Zhang, C.: Microstructure and tribological properties of plasma sprayed Cu-15Ni-8Sn coatings. Surf. Coat. Technol. 337, 159–167 (2018). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kovalchenko, A.M.; Fushchich, O.I.; Danyluk, S.: The tribological properties and mechanism of wear of Cu-based sintered powder materials containing molybdenum disulfide and molybdenum diselenite under unlubricated sliding against copper. Wear 290–291, 106–123 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jandin, G.; Liao, H.; Feng, Z.Q.; Coddet, C.: Correlations between operating conditions, microstructure and mechanical properties of twin wire arc sprayed steel coatings. Mater. Sci. Eng. A 349(1–2), 298–305 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gedzevicius, I.; Valiulis, A.V.: Analysis of wire arc spraying process variables on coatings properties. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 175(1–3), 206–211 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Planche, M.P.; Liao, H.; Coddet, C.: Relationships between in-flight particle characteristics and coating microstructure with a twin wire arc spray process and different working conditions. Surf. Coat. Technol. 182(2–3), 215–226 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kumar, D.; Murtaza, Q.; Singh, R.C.: Sliding wear behavior of aluminum alloy coating prepared by two-wire electric arc spray process. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 85, 237–252 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tian, H.L.; Wei, S.C.; Chen, Y.X.; Tong, H.; Liu, Y.; Xu, B.S.: Wear behavior of high velocity arc spraying FeNiCrAlBRE/Ni95Al composite coatings. Phys. Proceeda 50, 282–287 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chen, T.; Chou, C.; Yung, T.; Tsai, K.; Huang, J.: Wear behavior of thermally sprayed Zn / 15Al, Al and Inconel 625 coatings on carbon steel. Surf. Coat. Technol. 303, 78–85 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gore, G.J.; Gates, J.D.: Effect of hardness on three very different forms of wear. Wear 204(96), 544–563 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chicot, D.; Ageorges, H.; Voda, M.; Louis, G.; Ben Dhia, M.A.; Palacio, C.C.; Kossman, S.: Hardness of thermal sprayed coatings: relevance of the scale of measurement. Surf. Coat. Technol. 268, 173–179 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bhushan, B.: Introduction to Tribology, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibrahim, M.; Al-Athel, K.; Arif, A.F.M.: Strength and hardness assessment of copper and copper alloy coatings on stainless steel substrates. In: ASME 2016, IMECE2016-66612, pp. V014T11A019–12 (2016)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Li, W.; Lu, Y.; Yuan, K.; Yuan, C.: Effects of cerium on microstructure and bonding strength of Cu-14Al-4.5Fe bronze plasma sprayed coating. J. Rare Earths 29(4), 363–369 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Al-Athel, K.S.; Ibrahim, M.; Arif, A.F.M.; Akhtar, S.S.: Effect of composition and thickness on the hardness and scratch resistance of copper and copper alloy coatings. Arab. J. Sci. Eng. (2017).
  24. 24.
    Kudashov, D.V.; Zauter, R.; Müller, H.R.: Spray-formed high-aluminium bronzes. Mater. Sci. Eng. A 477(1–2), 43–49 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cortie, M.B.; Mavrocordatos, C.E.: The decomposition of the beta phase in the copper-tin system. Metall. Trans. 22, 11–18 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pistofidis, N.; Vourlias, G.; Pavlidou, E.; Patsalas, P.; Stergioudis, G.; Polychroniadis, E.K.: Study of the structure and morphology of plasma-sprayed tin coating. Surf. Coat. Technol. 200, 6245–6250 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Ibrahim
    • 1
  • Mohammed Abdul Samad
    • 1
  • Khaled Al-Athel
    • 1
  • Abul Fazal Arif
    • 1
  • Nasirudeen Olalekan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranKingdom of Saudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations