A Almeida, M Anjos, R Vilar, R Li, M G S Ferreira, K G Watkins, W M Steen
The microstructure and corrosion resistance of laser-alloyed aluminium and ANSI 7175 aluminium alloy with chromium were investigated. Surface layers alloyed with chromium contain relatively large amounts of intermetallic compounds dispersed in a matrix of a-Al. The intermetallic compound particles present needle-like morphologies, organized in a dense network or distributed radially. Al7Cr, Al11Cr2 and a-Al phases have been identified by X-ray diffraction. The alloyed layers may contain cracks, pores, inclusions and undissolved chromium particles, depending on the chromium concentration and particle size. However, homogeneous layers were produced by a two-step process, consisting of laser alloying followed by remelting. The second treatment eliminates porosity and refines the structure. The hardness attains a Vickers hardness of 155 HV in chromium-alloyed aluminium and exceeds 300 HV in chromium-alloyed 7175. The corrosion behaviour of the above alloys was assessed using anodic polarization techniques. Laser alloying of aluminium and 7175 with chromium improves the pitting corrosion resistance of the alloys. The effect depends on the chromium content of the alloyed layers and is more significant in 7175 alloy.