Nanocrystalline electrodeposited Fe-W/Al <inf>2</inf> O <inf>3</inf> Composites: Effect of Alumina Sub-microparticles on the Mechanical, Tribological, and Corrosion Properties

Aliona Nicolenco, Antonio Mulone, Naroa Imaz, Natalia Tsyntsaru, Jordi Sort, Eva Pellicer, Uta Klement, Henrikas Cesiulis, Eva García-Lecina

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© 2019 Nicolenco, Mulone, Imaz, Tsyntsaru, Sort, Pellicer, Klement, Cesiulis and García-Lecina. In this study, nanocrystalline Fe-W alloy and Fe-W/Al 2 O 3 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 Al 2 O 3 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/Al 2 O 3 composites is attributed to the apparent grain size refinement/amorphization and the nanoporosity surrounding the embedded Al 2 O 3 particles. In the presence of 12 vol% of Al 2 O 3 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/Al 2 O 3 composite coatings into various systems working under dry friction conditions, for example, in high-temperature vacuum systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number241
Pages (from-to)241
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019


  • Alumina
  • Columnar growth
  • Composite coatings
  • Iron alloys
  • Wear resistance
  • iron alloys
  • columnar growth
  • composite coatings
  • alumina
  • wear resistance


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