Microstructure and properties of thermally sprayed Al-Sn-based alloys for plain bearing applications

T. Marrocco, L. C. Driver, S. J. Harris, D. G. McCartney

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Al-Sn plain bearings for automotive applications traditionally comprise a multilayer structure. Conventionally, bearing manufacturing involves casting the Al-Sn alloy and roll-bonding to a steel backing strip. Recently, high-velocity oxyfuel (HVOF) thermal spraying has been used as a novel alternative manufacturing route. The present project extends previous work on ternary Al-Sn-Cu alloys to quaternary systems, which contain specific additions for potentially enhanced properties. Two alloys were studied in detail, namely, Al-20wt.%Sn-1wt.%Cu-2wt.%Ni and Al-20wt.%Sn-1wt.%Cu-7wt.%Si. This article will describe the microstructural evolution of these alloys following HVOF spraying onto steel substrates and subsequent heat treatment. The microstructures of powders and coatings were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, and the phases were identified by x-ray diffraction. Coating microhardnesses were determined under both as-sprayed and heat-treated conditions, and by the differences related to the microstructures that developed. Finally, the wear behavior of the sprayed and heat-treated coatings in hot engine oil was measured using an industry standard test and was compared with that of previous work on a ternary alloy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-639
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thermal Spray Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2006
Event2006 International Thermal Spray Conference: Building on 100 Years of Success - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 15 May 200618 May 2006


  • Al-Sn-based alloys
  • high-velocity oxyfuel spraying
  • microstructural characterization


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