Subsurface microstructure evolution and deformation mechanism of Ag-Cu eutectic alloy after dry sliding wear

W. Cai, P. Bellon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dry sliding wear behavior of nanostructured eutectic Ag-Cu with grain size ~114. nm was investigated using pin-on-disc testing. The subsurface microstructure and texture evolution were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nano-beam diffraction, and high angle annular dark field. During sliding wear, plastic deformation transforms the subsurface material into hierarchical microstructures. At depths of 1-15. μm below the sliding surface, a two phase (Ag-rich and Cu-rich) nano-lamellar structure is observed, where the layer thickness decreases from 98. nm at a depth of 15. μm to 11. nm at a depth of 1. μm. Right below the sliding surface, where an equivalent strain of 7.1 was estimated, wear induced plastic deformation drives the subsurface material into a non-equilibrium super-saturated solid solution phase, with ~9. nm equiaxed nano-grains. These refined microstructures led to significant work-hardening in the subsurface material, as revealed by nanoindentation testing. Finally, the microstructure evolution and the underlying deformation mechanism of Ag-Cu are discussed on the basis of these characterizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-610
Number of pages9
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013


  • Ag-Cu alloy
  • Mechanical mixing
  • Microstructure
  • Wear
  • Work hardening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Mechanics of Materials


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