Wear Protection of Al383/SiO2 Metal Matrix Composites by Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) Process
Al383/SiO₂ metal matrix composites (MMC) were designed to increase the wear properties of the Al alloy. However, the soft Al matrix was subject to large plastic deformation under high normal load during lubricated sliding wear tests, causing detachment of the reinforced particles. To further increase the wear resistance of the MMC, in this research, Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) process was used to form oxide coatings on the MMC. The hard and wear-resistant oxide coatings protected the metal matrix during the wear tests, reducing the wear rate of MMC. The effect of both oxide coating thickness and volume content of SiO₂ particles on the wear behavior of MMC was investigated. It was found that with a proper combination of the volume content of SiO₂ and coating thickness, the MMC exhibited high wear resistance and low friction coefficient.