Wear resistance is often important in structural applications that use light weight PM aluminum alloys. Several aluminum PM alloys were evaluated for wear resistance using the ASTM G65 test method. This consists of dry sand that is dropped into the interface between the test sample and a rotating rubber wheel. Test results indicate that the ACT1 2014 alloy, which is the most popular PM aluminum alloy for structural parts, has slightly better wear resistance than the cast A380 alloy. Significantly better wear resistance was achieved with an Al-14%Si alloy and a ceramic reinforced composite. Surprisingly, a high strength Al-Zn alloy showed poor wear resistance, while pure Al demonstrated excellent wear resistance when a liquid was present. The wear resistance of the softer PM aluminum alloys was attributed to the creation of hard and soft spots at the wear interface. In the presence of a liquid at the interface, “hydroplaning” over the fluid trapped in the worn pockets is expected to occur.
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