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The University of Southampton

Research project: Rare earth effect on tribological bronze coatings

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Wear on contact surface significantly reduced the lifetime of a component. This leads to economic cost to replacing the component and loss of revenue due to down time. Tribocorrosion resistant coatings are an efficient and economical solution to protect the under laying substrate from wear. These coatings are widely used across many industries such as in manufacturing and automotive. However, these coatings can wear off and exposing the substrate, hence an in-situ wear monitoring of the coating is also desirable to provide early warning about the state of wear. This will allow time for essential maintenance to prevent major damage to the underlying substrates.

This project aims to develop a novel self - lubricating and self - sensing Tribocorrision resistant coatings. The coatings will consist of the functional self-lubricating layer based on hypereutectoid aluminium bronze and a phosphorescent light emitting indicator layer. The combination of the functional and indicator layer provides the desired hardness, wear and corrosion resistance properties.

Such coatings will benefit a range of application, such as in moulding applications where the adhesion problem, which causes scratches on the surface of the product, can be alleviated by self-lubricating property of the aluminium bronze. Furthermore, the shape and volume of the mould can also be kept constant through regular wear check of the coating surface. Should wear occur, the indicator layer will be exposed. This enables the position and severity of wear on the coating surface to be assessed. Aerospace and Automotive industry will also benefit by authenticating using the light emitting layer. This can combat problems with counterfeited parts.

Nano-hardness on matrix and an intermetallic phase of Cu-14AL-4.5Fe-0.6Ce coating
Nano-hardness on matrix
SEM image and EBSD crystal analysis
SEM image and EBSD crystal analysis

Associated research themes

Materials and surface engineering

Related research groups

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)
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