We have investigated the properties of surface alloys of Ti formed by excimer laser melting and mixing of Ti overlayers on AISI 304 stainless steel substrates.The thickness of the initial Ti surface layers and the fluence and number of pulses used to mix the surface were varied toinvestigate a broad range of processing conditions. Samples were uniformly translated at different speeds under repetitive pulses of homogenized laser radiation at 308 nm to vary the number of pulses incident on the sample. We investigated the surface structure and composition, the wear and friction behavior, and the surface hardness of the resulting alloys.
The extent of mixing is observed by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy to be proportional to the number of pulses incident on the sample. Amorphous surface layers are formed at some mixing levels with a composition which indicates that Ti substitutes for Fe in the stainless steel on a one to one basis. Incorporation of C from surface and interface contamination is observed but at a level much below that found in comparable ion implanted materials.
Friction coefficient measurements indicate that there exists an optimum level of mixing for each layer thickness. Excessive mixing degrades both the coefficient of friction and the wear performance in dry sliding tests.
As with the tribological measurements, the surface hardness showed a dependence on amount of mixing. The surface hardness of the as deposited samples was higher than that of the laser mixed samples, initially decreased with mixing, and finally increased with further mixing.