Comparative Study of the Tribological and Oxidative Properties of AlPdMn Quasicrystals and Their Cubic Approximants

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Mancinelli, Chris
Ko, Jeff
Jenks, Cynthia
Ross, Amy
Gellman, Andrew
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Lograsso, Thomas
Ames Laboratory Division Director
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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An experimental comparison has been made between the properties of the surfaces of an Al70Pd21Mn9quasicrystal and its Al48Pd42Mn10 approximant. The Al70Pd21Mn9 sample was a single grain icosahedral quasicrystal cut to expose its five-fold symmetric (000001) surface. The approximant was polycrystalline β-phase Al48Pd42Mn10, which has a CsCl-type cubic structure. Surfaces of both were prepared under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions and then used for comparative measurements of their frictional properties and oxidation rates. Both materials are oxidized by reaction with O2 to form a thin film of aluminum oxide that ultimately passivates their surfaces. The interesting difference between the two is that the rate of oxidation of the approximant is significantly higher than that of the quasicrystal in spite of the fact that the bulk Al concentration of the approximant is lower than that of the quasicrystal. Friction measurements were made under UHV conditions between pairs of quasicrystals and pairs of approximants whose surfaces were either clean or oxidized to varying degrees. The friction between pairs of the approximant surfaces is significantly higher than that measured between the quasicrystal surfaces under all conditions of surface oxidation.


This article is from MRS Proceedings 641 (2000): K8.2.1, doi:10.1557/PROC-643-K8.2.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2001