Microstructure and tribological behavior of the nickel-coated-graphite reinforced Babbitt metal composite fabricated by selective laser melting
5 July 2020
Revised: 13 September 2020
Accepted: 14 September 2020
Available online: 19 September 2020
Abstract: For purpose of improving the properties of Babbitt alloys, Ni-coated-graphite reinforced Babbitt metal composite specimens were prepared by selective laser melting (SLM) process, and their microstructures, mechanical and tribological properties were studied using scanning electron microscope (SEM), shear test and dry-sliding wear test, respectively. The results show that most of NCGr particles distribute at boundaries of laser beads in the cross-section of the SLM composite specimens. Microcracks or microvoids form at boundaries of laser beads where NCGr particle accumulating. Both shearing strength and the friction coefficient of the SLM composite specimens decrease with increasing NCGr content. The shearing strength and the friction coefficient of the SLM composite sample with 6% NCGr decrease by around 20% and 33% compared with the NCGr-free sample. Friction mechanism changes from plastic shaping furrow to brittle cutting with increasing NCGr content. A practical Babbitt material with a lower friction coefficient and proper strength could be expected if the dispersion of the NCGr particles is controlled by choosing NCGr particles with thicker Ni layer and precisely controlling laser energy input during SLM process.