Stephan Lederer, Serkan Arat, Wolfram Fürbeth
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5364
Wear resistant ceramic coatings were generated on novel commercially pure titanium grade 4+ alloys by the plasma electrolytic oxidation technique (PEO) in an aluminate and zirconia containing electrolyte. The coatings were obtained adopting a full regular two-level factorial design of experiments (DoE) varying the PEO process parameters current density, repetition rate and duty cycle. The generated coatings were characterized with respect to its wear resistance and mechanical properties by reciprocal ball-on-flat tests and nanoindentation measurements. Thickness, morphology and phase formation of the PEO coatings was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS) and X-ray diffraction. XRD results indicate the formation of crystalline aluminium titanate (TiAl2O5) as well as t-ZrO2 and alumina leading to an increase in hardness and wear resistance of the PEO coatings. Evaluation of the DoE’s parameter interaction shows that the main effects for generating wear resistant coatings are current density and repetition rate. In particular, the formation of mechanically stable and adhesive corundum and zirconia containing coatings with increasing current density and frequency turned out to be responsible for the improvement of the tribological properties. Overall, the PEO processing significantly improves the wear resistance of the CP titanium base alloy.