Laser Sintering of Nanodiamond Powders on Aluminum Substrate
The purpose of this research is to develop 10-50 micrometer thick, strongly adherent nanodiamond/diamond-like carbon (ND-DLC) coatings on aluminum substrates using a novel laser sintering process and demonstrate their tribological properties including hardness, toughness, wear resistance and friction relevant to engine applications. Aluminum is in demand for many engine applications due to its low density and high corrosion resistance. However, due to its low wear resistance, the number of applications are limited. It is hoped that ND-DLC coatings will greatly improve the performance and durability of aluminum engine components by reducing the friction between parts and improving the wear and scuffing resistance of the aluminum substrate. The success of this research will assist in improving the fuel efficiency of all automobiles particularly in a time of rising fuel prices. In another area, the laser sintering of ND particles could be extended to other substrates, such as titanium; this would be beneficial in the medical field, especially in biomedical implants. It could be used on surgical prostheses to prolong the current 10-15 year lifespan of the implant.