Surface alloying of high-vanadium high-speed steel on ductile iron using plasma transferred arc technique: Microstructure and wear properties

H.T. Cao, X.P. Dong , Z. Pan, X.W. Wu, Q.W. Huang, Y.T. Pei

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37 Citations (Scopus)


A high-vanadium high speed steel (HVHSS) alloying layer was synthesized from pre-placed powders (V-Cr-Ti-Mo) on ductile iron (DI) substrate using plasma transferred arc (PTA) technique. The PTA-alloyed layer, characterized by microhardness, optical microscopy, XRD, EDS enabled SEM, TEM and pin-on-disk tribometry, consists of three main regions: top alloyed zone (TAZ), intermediate remelted zone (IRZ), and heat affected zone (HAZ) of the DI substrate. A large number of globular carbides particles with size smaller than 5 μm form in the TAZ through in-situ reactions between the alloying elements and graphite in the molten pool. Further microstructural characterizations indicate that the carbides are primarily vanadium carbide (VC), confirming the formation of the HVHSS layer. The maximum microhardness of the PTA-alloyed sample occurring at the subsurface is 950 HV0.2 which is 5 times that of the substrate. The HVHSS layer exhibits superior tribological performance in comparison to PTA-remelted DI, Mn13 steel and DI substrate. The enhanced performance is attributed to the formation of mixed hard-phases such as MC, M7C3, M23C6, martensite and grain refining through rapid solidification accompanying the PTA process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials & design
Issue number2016
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jun-2016


  • Ductile iron
  • Wear properties
  • Plasma transferred arc technique
  • Surface alloying
  • Microstructure
  • High-vanadium high-speed steel coating

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