Nanocrystalline Electrodeposited Fe-W/Al2O3 Composites: Effect of Alumina Sub-microparticles on the Mechanical, Tribological, and Corrosion Properties
Journal article, 2019

In this study, nanocrystalline Fe-Walloy and Fe-W/Al2O3 composite coatings with various contents of sub-microsized alumina particles have been obtained by electrodeposition from an environmentally friendly Fe(III)-based electrolyte with the aim to produce a novel corrosion and wear resistant material. The increase in volume fraction of Al2O3 in deposits from 2 to 12% leads to the grain refinement effect, so that the structure of the coatings change from nanocrystalline to amorphous-like with grain sizes below 20 nm. Nevertheless, the addition of particles to the Fe-W matrix does not prevent the development of a columnar structure revealed for all the types of studied coatings. The observed reduction in both hardness and elastic modulus of the Fe-W/Al2O3 composites is attributed to the apparent grain size refinement/amorphization and the nanoporosity surrounding the embedded Al2O3 particles. In the presence of 12 vol% of Al2O3 in deposits, the wear rate decreases by a factor of 10 as compared to Fe- W alloy tested under dry friction conditions due to the lowering of tribo-oxidation. The addition of alumina particles slightly increases the corrosion resistance of the coatings; however, the corrosion in neutral chloride solution occurs through the preferential dissolution of Fe from the matrix. The obtained results provide a possibility to integrate the nanocrystalline Fe-W/Al2O3 composite coatings into various systems working under dry friction conditions, for example, in high-temperature vacuum systems.


wear resistance

iron alloys

columnar growth

composite coatings


Aliona Nicolenco

Vilnius University

Antonio Mulone

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Materials and manufacture

Naroa Imaz


Natalia Tsyntsaru

Vilnius University

Jordi Sort

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Eva Pellicer

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Uta Klement

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Materials and manufacture

Henrikas Cesiulis

Vilnius University

Eva Garcia-Lecina


Frontiers in Chemistry

22962646 (eISSN)

Vol. 7 MAR 241- 241

Smart ELECTrodeposited Alloys for environmentally sustainable applications: from advanced protective coatings to micro/nano-robotic platforms (SELECTA)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/642642), 2015-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Subject Categories

Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology

Metallurgy and Metallic Materials

Composite Science and Engineering

Areas of Advance

Materials Science



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