Exploratory study of the interactions between textured alumina coatings and steel
Abstract: The crater wear of alumina coated WC-Co cutting tools is thought to be influenced by the chemical reactions between the coating and the workpiece material. Three different crystal orientations ((001), (012), and (100) of alpha alumina CVD coatings are examined in combination with four workpiece materials of steel to establish what reactions are present, and the extent of diffusion. The alumina coatings and workpiece materials were pressed together as diffusion couples and heat treated at 1250- 1300°C for 10-20hours. It was fond that the types of inclusions present in the workpiece were more impactful on the chemical wear of the coating than the crystal orientation of the coating. EDS measurements show significant amounts of W and Co on the surface of the coatings and on the steel surfaces after heat treatment. This is thought to be connected to the migration of Co through the coating in cooling cracks and other impurities. In the surface of the coating, areas of solidified Co-rich structure have been found, implying that Co has formed an alloy with Fe, C, Al, and W with sufficiently low melting temperature to partially melt during the heat treatment. This has been confirmed as possible by simulations in Thermo-calc. Turning tests and scratch tests were made with the same combinations of coatings and workpiece material and show differences in adhesion of workpiece material on the different coating orientations. The 100-orientation has been found to have the most adhered workpiece material, the reason for this being its higher surface roughness. Ultimately no noticeable differences in chemical reactivity between the coating crystal orientations was found. The Co diffusion though the coating occurred for all the coating orientations and further experiments in turning with the different workpiece materials are required to determine the effect of Ca-rich inclusions on the magnitude of chemical wear.
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