Applied Surface Science, Vol.353, 995-1002, 2015
Effects of combined plasma chromizing and shot peening on the fatigue properties of a Ti6Al4V alloy
A plasma chromizing treatment was conducted on Ti6Al4V samples by employing the recently developed double glow plasma surface alloying technology. The Cr-alloyed layer consisted of four sub-layers, namely the Cr deposition, Cr2Ti, CrTi4, and Cr-Ti solid-solution layers. The local hardness and moduli were determined via nanoindentation. In addition, the fatigue properties of the samples were evaluated by using a rotating-bending fatigue machine under a given load. The results showed that the hardness or elastic moduli of the adjacent sub-layers differed significantly and the fatigue properties of the Ti6Al4V alloy deteriorated with the plasma chromizing treatment. This deterioration stemmed mainly from cracks initiated at the interfaces between the sub-layers and the microstructural changes of the substrate; these changes were induced by the high temperature used in the plasma chromizing process. However, the fatigue life of the plasma-chromized samples was increased by a shot peening post-treatment. The fatigue life of the samples resulting from this combination of treatments was slightly higher than that of the single-shot-peened Ti6Al4V substrate. In fact, the sample retaining only the Cr-Ti solid-solution layer (that is, the first three sub-layers were removed), when shot-peened, exhibited the highest fatigue life among all the tested samples; this was attributed to that sample having the highest residual compressive stress, the significant work hardening, and the good hardness to toughness balance. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.