Analytical transmission electron microscopy has been applied to characterize the microstructure, phase and chemical composition of the Ag–Al wear track throughout its thickness down to the atomic level. Microscopy findings have been correlated with Ag–Al film tribological properties to understand the effect of the hexagonal solid solution phase on the tribological properties of this film. Ag–25Al (at.%) films have been produced by simultaneous magnetron sputtering of components in Ar atmosphere under 1 mTorr pressure and subjected to pin-on-disc tribological tests. It has been shown that hcp phase with (001) planes aligned parallel to the film surface dominates both in as-deposited and in tribofilm areas of the Ag–Al alloy film. Possible mechanisms of reduced friction in easily oxidized Ag–Al system are discussed and the mechanism based on readily shearing basal planes of the hcp phase is considered as the most probable one.
Investigations were carried out to ensure the granulated blast furnace (GBF) slag as an alternative mould material in foundry industry by assessing the cast products structure property correlations. Sodium silicate-CO2 process was adopted for preparing the moulds. Three types of moulds were made with slag, silica sand individually and combination of these two with 10% sodium silicate and 20 seconds CO2 gassing time. A356 alloy castings were performed on these newly developed slag moulds. The cast products were investigated for its metallography and mechanical properties. Results reveal that cast products with good surface finish and without any defects were produced. Faster heat transfers in slag moulds enabled the cast products with fine and refined grain structured; and also, lower Secondary Dendrite Arm Spacing (SDAS) values were observed than sand mould. Slag mould casting shows improved mechanical properties like hardness, compression, tensile and impact strength compared to sand mould castings. Two types of tensile fracture modes, namely cleavage pattern with flat surfaces representing Al−Si eutectic zone and the areas of broken Fe-rich intermetallic compounds which appear as flower-like morphology was observed in sand mould castings. In contrast, GBF slag mould castings exhibit majority in dimple fracture morphology with traces of cleavage fracture. Charpy impact fractured surfaces of sand mould castings shows both transgranular and intergranular fracture modes. Only intergranular fracture mode was noticed in both GBF slag and mixed mould castings.