Various physical and chemical properties of surface and subsurface regions of Al can be improved by the formation of transition metal intermetallic phases (AlxTMy) via coating of the transition metal (TM). The lower equilibrium solid solubility of TM in Al (<1 at.%) is a steep barrier to the formation of solid solutions using conventional alloying methods. In contrast, as demonstrated in the present work, surface engineering via a laser-aided additive manufacturing approach can effectively synthesize TM intermetallic coatings on the surface of Al. The focus of the present work included the development of process control to achieve thermodynamic and kinetic conditions necessary for desirable physical, microstructural and compositional attributes. A multiphysics finite element model was developed to predict the temperature profile, cooling rate, melt depth, dilution of W in Al matrix and corresponding micro-hardness in the coating, and the interface between the coating and the base material and the base material. © 2016, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.
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