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Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168

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Effect of normal load on abrasive wear resistance and wear

micromechanisms in FeMnAlC alloy and other austenitic steels
O.A. Zambrano a,b,n, Yesid Aguilar b, Jairo Valds a, S.A. Rodrguez a, J.J. Coronado a
Research Group of Fatigue and Surfaces (GIFS), Mechanical Engineering School, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia
Research Group of Tribology, Polymers, Powder Metallurgy and Processing of Solid Waste (TPMR), Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Little attention has been paid to the role of stacking fault energy (SFE) in the two-body abrasive wear of
Received 18 April 2015 austenitic steels. Using a pin-abrasion test with 220 grit garnet paper as the counterbody, three austenitic
Received in revised form steels of different SFEs were compared. The steels were: (i) FeMnAlC, (ii) Hadeld steel, and (iii) AISI
18 November 2015
316 L steel. Following a pre-conditioning procedure, the normal loads on the 3 mm diameter test pins
Accepted 22 November 2015
were 5 N, 10 N and 15 N, and the sliding speed along a spiral track of total length 430 m was 0.158 m/s.
Available online 12 December 2015
Data showed that the FeMnAlC steel had a higher wear resistance than AISI 316 L steel but lower wear
Keywords: resistance than the Hadeld steel. However, at the highest test load, all three steels had similar wear
FeMnAlC steel resistance. The steel with the lowest SFE had the highest abrasive wear resistance and the steel with the
Abrasive wear
highest SFE had the lowest abrasive wear resistance. The main wear mechanisms were microcutting and
Hadeld steel
microploughing. There was a transition from microploughing to microcutting as the normal load was
AISI 316 L steel
Stacking Fault Energy increased.
& 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction and temperature [810]. The afore said deformation mechanisms

produce effective obstacles inside the grain for the dislocations
The High-manganese steels with aluminium additions are movement, producing a similar Hall Petch effect, but in this par-
derived from Robert Hadeld's investigations of Fe13Mn1.2C in ticular case, the grain renement is produced during deformation
1882 [1]. However, in the past two decades, these steels have and hence, is named Dynamic Hall Petch effect [11]. According to
shown a renewed interest because of their exceptional features as: this, the deformation mechanisms are expected to have important
low density [2], corrosion resistance [3], high strength, high strain implications in the wear process where the plastic deformation
hardening and good elongation in comparison with almost any behaviour (i.e. microcutting, plugging etc) controls the wear
steel [4]. This exceptional mechanical behaviour rest in two the- resistance of the alloy. In this sense, little information is available
ories that are not necessarily mutually exclusive; the rst, relate in the literature concerning the wear behaviour of FeMnAlC steels
the dipole interaction CMn with dislocations, where the Mn and its relation with deformation mechanism.
subtitutional atoms in the crystal structure produce an attraction One of the few investigations on the abrasive wear behaviour of
eld with the interstitial carbon, which produce the subsequent FeMnAlC steels was performed by Acselrad et al (2004) [12],
difculty in the movement of dislocations (dynamic strain aging, where they determined in a micro-abrasion ball cratering test, that
DSA) [5]. The second theory explains that the high strain hard- the FeMnAlC steel with the best heat treatment could have a
ening is due to the creation of deformation twins or strain induced similar wear behaviour than AISI 304 steel. Moreover, in the few
martensite (- or `), that leads to enhancing the strain hard- literature concerning with the three body abrasive wear (ASTM
enability through the effect of transformation induced plasticity G65) of FeMnAlC steels, there is an agreement with the effect of
(TRIP), twinning induced plasticity (TWIP) and micro-band aluminium, i.e. the wear resistance increases as the aluminium
induced plasticity (MBIP). content decrease [13,14]. Contrarily, in two body abrasive wear
The existence and extend of these deformation mechanisms are (pin against abrasive paper), the addition of aluminium have been
related to the Stacking Fault Energy (SFE) of the austenite [6,7], suggested to improve the wear resistance due to DSA [13]. In this
which in turn depends on the chemical composition, grain size sense, the purpose of this paper is to study the abrasive wear
behaviour of a FeMnAlC steel and compare the results with other
Corresponding author. Tel.: 57 4849665 3212133. austenitic steels and try to elucidate the role of the SFE in the
E-mail address: oscar.zambrano@correounivalle.edu.co (O.A. Zambrano). abrasive wear behaviour of austenitic steels.

0043-1648/& 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
62 O.A. Zambrano et al. / Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168

2. Experimental procedure 2.3. Hardness test

2.1. Materials Micro-hardness testing was performed on all samples using a

Vickers indenter at 0.5 N for 10 s and fteen measurements of
The chemical composition and the estimated values of the SFE hardness were realized in each condition and the test errors were
(reported or calculated from in the literature) for the steels used in determined with 95% of condence. To obtain the micro-hardness
this research are shown in Table 1 (the effect of the grain size on after wear testing, each pin was cold-mounted in resin and
the SFE [10] was not considered in the SFEs values of the steels). transversely (to the wear surface) ground to grit 1500 and
The chemical composition was determined with an optical emis- mechanically polished using 1 mm, 0.3 mm, and 0.05 mm alumina
sion spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP) VARIAN for 60 s to obtain a at surface without removing the deformed
model MPX. layer. The depth used to measure the hardness after the wear was
The high manganese austenitic steel (FeMnAlC) was melted in 20 mm.
an open induction furnace and cast to an ingot. Then, submitted to
solution treatment for 6 h at 1200 C in a furnace with argon 2.4. Microstructure
atmosphere to remove the as cast microstructure. The AISI 316L
steel and Hadeld steel (with low carbon content) were com- Microstructures were optically examined by etching the
mercial steels. The FeMnAlC steel, the Hadeld steel and AISI 316L mechanically polished samples of FeMnAlC steel and Hadeld
steel were cut using electro-discharge machining to obtain steel with 5% Nital for 90 s. The AISI 316L was etched with Villella's
3 mm  40 mm pins. Finally, the pins were submitted to a solu- for 30 s.
tion treatment for 2 h at 1200 C in the same furnace with argon
atmosphere, and were quenched in water.
3. Results
2.2. Tribological test
3.1. Microstructural analysis
Wear tests were performed on a pin-abrasion tribometer PLINT
TE79 of type pin (3 mm of diameter with a at-ended) against The Fig. 1 shows that the three steels present a similar micro-
abrasive paper. The abrasive wear tests were carried out using structure consisting in austenitic grains with some oxide
FeMnAlC steel, Hadeld steel and AISI 316L steel pins against inclusions.
garnet paper of 220 grit, the garnet abrasive has a HV0.98N of For the FeMnAlC steel, the microstructure shows a equiaxed
austenitic grains with mean grain size of 280.3 760.1 mm, and the
1453 785 [17]. The applied parameters were spiral motion from
Hadeld steel with mean grain size of 360.8 770.7 mm. The AISI
40 mm to 5 mm of radius with constant tangential speed of
316L present a mean grain size with annealing twins as
0.158 m/s (guarantying that the specimen passes over fresh abra-
140.2 730.9 mm.
sive along a spiral track), normal loads of 5 N, 10 N and 15 N and a
total slide distance of 430 m.
Before the wear test, an initial stage of supercial homo- 3.2. Tribological test
genisation was produced, using abrasive paper of alumina 600 grit
with 5 N for a distance of 84.7 m to guarantee the same surface The variations of wear resistance for the Hadeld, AISI 316L and
roughness for all samples. This procedure was repeated before FeMnAlC steels as a function of the sliding distance under different
normal loads are shown in Fig. 2 (the interval bars of condence in
each wear test. Additionally, each 86 m of sliding distance, the pin
the graphic could not be appreciated due to their low values). In
was dismounted from the tribometer and was cleaned in ultra-
general, the wear rate was constant during all the sliding distance,
sound equipment for 10 min, then the mass loss was measured
even since the rst stop (86 m). It is important to point out that
and the pin was mounted back in the tribometer. The weight loss
the three steels; Hadeld (lowest SFE), FeMnAlC (medium SFE)
was measured using an analytical balance with 0.01-mg resolu-
and AISI 316L (highest SFE) achieve the highest wear resistance
tion. The wear resistance (K) was calculated using the following
during the rst 86 m (except the AISI 316L at 15 N), but their wear
equation [18]:
resistance values are different. The Hadeld steel showed the
Nm LF N highest value followed by the FeMnAlC steel and nally by the AISI
K 1
mm 3 m 316L steel.
The wear resistance values for the Hadeld, AISI 316L and
where, m represents the weight loss value of each steel, is the FeMnAlC steels are shown in Fig. 3. According to this graphic, it is
corresponding density of each steel (FeMnAlC steel, Hadeld steel evident that the wear resistance depends on the load applied and
and AISI 316L steel with 7.48 [19], 7.8 and 7.9 g/cm3, respectively), that it increases with the increase of the load. This behaviour has
F N is the normal load of each test and L is the sliding distance. been reported recently by Nafar Dehsorkhi et al (2014) [20] in
Three repetitions were performed for each condition, and the stainless steels, and also in Hadeld steels with aluminium addi-
test errors were determined with 95% condence. Finally, for the tions by Abbasi et al (2010) [21]. They found that higher loads
wear debris analysis (length and thickness of microchips) 15 produce an increase on the wear resistance due to an increment of
microchips for each condition were measured. the transformed martensite content and due to greater extend of
work-hardening. Although this may be difcult to corroborate by
Table 1 hardness measures if the hardened surface is removed by
SFE and chemical composition of the steels used in this research.
C Mn Al Cr Ni Si Mo SFE (mJ m-2) On the other hand, the FeMnAlC steel shows higher wear
resistance than the AISI 316L steel. These results are consistent
FeMnAlC 1.07 19.80 3.49 1.28 0.12 0.53 0.01 55 [10] with the ones reported by Acselrad et al (2004) [12]. However, in
AISI 316L 0.03 2.00 18.03 10.10 1.01 2.01 64 [15,16]
this study here presented, not ageing or special cooling treatment
Hadeld 0.61 13.88 0.04 2.61 0.59 0.82 15-22 [10,15]
for FeMnAlC steel were used, and the current steel contains less
O.A. Zambrano et al. / Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168 63

Fig. 1. Microstructures of (a) FeMnAlC steel, (b) Hadeld steel and (c) AISI 316L steel.

Fig. 2. Wear resistance for various loads as a function of sliding distance for (a) Hadeld, (b) AISI 316L and (c) FeMnAlC steel.

amount of manganese and aluminium, which could be regarded as has a direct incidence in the abrasive wear resistance of austenitic
an improvement. steels. However, the validity of this hypothesis requires further
It is important to stand out, that according to the stacking fault investigations.
energy (SFE) of the steels (Table 1), a general behaviour could be
observed; high SFE of the austenitic steel leads to lower the wear 3.3. Wear mechanisms
resistance. This relation between the SFE and wear abrasion
resistance has not been reported for FeMnAlC steels, and even The main wear mechanisms observed for all steels in all con-
fewer reports in steels tested in abrasion conditions are available. ditions tested were microcutting and wedge formation due to
The results here presented seem to obey the relation proposed by microploughing. In Fig. 4(a), Fig. 5(a) and Fig. 6(a), the wear sur-
Blau (1979) [22] and Feller et al (1989) [23] in CuAl alloys in faces showed more proportion of scratches with plastic deforma-
sliding conditions and are also consistent with the role of the SFE tion at the edges (microploughing mechanism) than scratches
in other systems like: CoNi [24] and NiCo [25]. Although other without plastic deformation (microcutting mechanism) [27], in
authors have found that the wear rate increase with decreasing Fig. 4(c), Fig. 5(c) and Fig. 6(c) the opposite happens and in
the SFE in CuAl alloys [26], they explain that other factors like Fig. 4(b), Fig. 5(b) and Fig. 6(b) no predominant wear mechanism
compressive residual stress are involved. The results present here, was found. In general, it can be observed that with the increase of
show that the SFE is an important metallurgical parameter that normal load (mean contact pressure) higher proportion of
64 O.A. Zambrano et al. / Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168

microcutting mechanism in all steels occurs and lower normal them with the wear mechanisms. The qualitative results are show
loads produces lower proportion of the microcutting mechanism in the Fig. 7, Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 and quantitative results are presented
and higher proportion of microploughing mechanism. This is in the Fig. 10.
because of lower loads favoured a low degree of abrasive pene- These results (the length deviations vary from 75 to 780, but
tration on the surface and higher loads favoured a high degree of were not put in the graphic for the easy reading) shows a clear
penetration. tendency of the dependence between the load applied and the
The transition of the wear mechanism presented in this study is length of the microchips (wear debris) for all steels. In this sense,
consistent with the results of Kitsunai et al (1990) [28], who found with the increase of load there is an increase in the length of the
a wear mechanism transition from ploughing to wedge-formation microchips, which it is attributed to the transition from micro-
and to cutting with the increase in the normal load in a pin-on- ploughing to microcutting mechanism (see Section 3.3). In addi-
disk test for a AISI 304 steel. tion, it can be observed for example, that a lower volume is
According to the work of Childs (1988) [29], as harder the steel, removed (inferred indirectly for the length and thickness of the
lower is the critical angle required for cutting. However, the same microchips) from the Hadeld steel than the AISI 316L steel. This is
author also remarks the importance of the work hardening in this due to the work hardening, which makes more difcult the chip
phenomenon as follows; increase the strain hardening rate cutting/formation (difculty to obtain large microchips) [29], and
increase the threshold for cutting and reduced the fraction of the this phenomena is intimately related to the SFE of the steel; higher
material removed in the cutting regime. This means that a higher work hardening for the Hadeld steel (low SFE) produced shorter
work hardening of the steel (low SFE) more difcult will be to values for the length of the microchips when compared with the
remove material by microcutting in comparison with a lower ones of the AISI 316L steel (high SFE).
strain hardening steel (high SFE). This fact helps to clarify the role On the other hand, it is concluded that there is no clear rela-
of the SFE in the wear micromechanism and the wear resistance of tionship between load tested and the thickness of the microchips
the current steels. for all steels. Despite the relationship between the abrasive sizes,
the microchips morphology and the groove width have been stu-
died [27,30,31], the correlation between load tested and the length
3.4. Wear debris
and thickness of the microchips have not been reported in the
The abrasive papers were examined by SEM in order to identify literature.
the types of wear debris (microchips) generated and to correlate
3.5. Hardness test

The Vickers hardness values (in kg/mm2) of the steels before

and after the wear process are show in Fig. 10. It is clear the large
difference with respect to the initial hardness for the three steels.
Also, it is evident that the FeMnAlC steel, which presented the
highest initial hardness, did not show the highest wear resistance,
and the Hadeld steel, which presented the lowest initial hard-
ness, showed the highest wear resistance. This means that the
original hardness in austenitic steels per se cannot be used to
predict the abrasion wear resistance as reported by Zum Gahr
(1987) [32]. Besides, it was expected that the steel with the lowest
SFE should have hardened much more than a high SFE steel, in the
present study this phenomenon was not observed, probably due to
the hardened surface is removed by cutting. However, some stu-
dies have reported that the steel with higher SFE (Hadeld steel
with aluminium additions) shows higher nal hardness than the
steel with lower SFE (Hadeld steel without aluminium), before a
critical mean contact pressure of 0.64 N/mm2 (in this investigation
Fig. 3. The effect of the normal load on the wear resistance for the FeMnAlC steel,
the mean contact pressures is lower than this value) but no
Hadeld steel and AISI 316L steel (the bars correspond to the interval of condence metallurgical explanation have been reported about this phe-
at 95%). nomenon [21].

Fig. 4. Scanning electron microscopy images of the wear debris of FeMnAlC steel tested at: (a) 5 N, (b) 10 N and (c) 15 N.
O.A. Zambrano et al. / Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168 65

Fig. 5. Scanning electron microscopy images of the wear surfaces of Hadeld steel tested at: (a) 5 N, (b) 10 N and (c) 15 N.

Fig. 6. Scanning electron microscopy images of the wear debris of AISI 316L steel tested at: (a) 5 N, (b) 10 N and (c) 15 N.

Additionally, from Fig. 11 and Table 2, it is clear that; i) the hardness registered, while at higher loads, the hardened layers are
Hadeld steel presented the lowest initial and nal hardness, as removed by the microcutting mechanism therefore the nal
well as the lowest strain hardening of the matrix and ii) the AISI hardness is obtained mainly over the fresh surface without the
316L steel presented the highest nal hardness, as well as the hardened layer.
highest strain hardening of the matrix. However, these hardness These hypotheses need further investigations, and it is
evolution results do not explain satisfactorily the better wear recommended to control carefully the hardness measurement
resistance of the Hadeld steel. during the test and particularly during the running-in period in
All samples tested presented a matrix hardening after the wear future works.
process in all normal loads, the amount of strain hardening mea-
sured decreased with the increase in the normal load (mean
contact pressure). This behaviour is related to predominant
4. Disussion
microploughing mechanism at lower loads (see Section 3.3), which
is responsible for the increment in strain hardening of the matrix
The superior abrasive wear resistance was obtained for the
due to ample plastic deformation eld.
Hadeld steel, followed by the FeMnAlC steel and AISI 316L
The models proposed by Lim et al (1987) [33], Ashby et al
stainless steel (see Section 3.2). In this sense, neither the initial
(1991) [34] and KuhlmannWilsdorf (1985) [35] have been
hardness (Fig. 11) nor the total strain hardening of the matrix
developed to study the frictional heating in sliding contact and,
(Table 2) of the austenitic steels seems to play per se a decisive role
the authors are in agreement that the heat generated increase
on the abrasion wear resistance under the studied conditions.
directly with the normal load, the friction coefcient and the
sliding velocity and inversely with the nominal contact area. Rather, it was found that the stacking fault energy could be
In this case, with the increases of the normal load there is also directly related to the abrasion wear. This fact is due to the strain
an increase of the temperature in the interface which produce hardening rate rather than the total strain hardening of the matrix
high temperature gradients which in turn produce softening and i.e. how quick the surface creates twins, or 0 -martensite laths
shear failure of the near-surface layer [36]. According to the due to the plastic deformation of the surface and retard the plastic
aforementioned facts, two possible explanations arise to explain deformation by the accumulation of dislocations in these obstacles
the hardness results; (i) as the normal load increases (mean con- [7]. In this sense, it is suggested that the strain hardening rate
tact pressure), frictional heat generated at the contact surface also could be a determinant factor on the abrasive wear behaviour of
increases, and these conditions produce a dynamic equilibrium austenitic steels. However, this hypothesis requires further inves-
between the dislocations generated and the dynamic recovery tigations and it is recommended the use of abrasives of lower
(decreasing the dislocations density) which in turn decreases the hardness than the ones used in this investigation. This is recom-
strain hardening, as compared with the matrices tested at lower mended, to induce a severe to mild wear transition and be able to
loads and/or (ii) at lower loads, the strain hardened layer remains study the running-in period of wear, which could clarify the role of
adherent to the surface (microploughing) and the presence of the SFE and hardness evolution on the worn surface during the
strain hardened layers are responsible for the high values of nal running-in.
66 O.A. Zambrano et al. / Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168

Fig. 7. Scanning electron microscopy images of the wear debris of FeMnAlC steel tested at: (a) 5 N, (b) 10 N and (c) 15 N.

Fig. 8. Scanning electron microscopy images of the wear debris of Hadeld steel tested at: (a) 5 N, (b) 10 N and (c) 15 N.

Fig. 9. Scanning electron microscopy images of the wear debris of AISI 316L steel tested at: (a) 5 N, (b) 10 N and (c) 15 N.

Fig. 11. Relationship micro-hardness before and after the wear test for each load
condition of the Hadeld steel, FeMnAlC steel and AISI 316L steel.
Fig. 10. Length (L) and thickness (T) of the microchips for Hadeld, FeMnAlC and
AISI 316L steels as a function of each load tested.
wear debris of the Hadeld steel. That is, the wear groves in the AISI
The wear debris (Fig. 10) could help to elucidate the role of the 316L steel were deeper than the groves of the Hadeld steel. It is
SFE on the wear behaviour; the thickness and length of debris know that the work hardening inuences the width of the wear
microchips for the AISI 316L steel were thicker and longer than the groove i.e. the groove width decrease with increasing work
O.A. Zambrano et al. / Wear 348-349 (2016) 6168 67

Table 2 References
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