Investigation of acoustic emission and surface treatment to improve tool materials and metal forming process


Deming Cao

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Materials Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: Norbert Meyendorf


Silicon nitride and WC-Co cermet tools are used for metal forming processes including extrusion and drawing. These materials are used to make tool dies which are exposed to deformation caused by friction and wear. Surface treatments such as ion implantation, laser blazing and coating have been found to improve surface properties, to optimize tribological behavior between the metal and die, as well as to extend service life of the tool dies. Early detection and continuous monitoring processes by non destructive testing (NDT) methods are needed in order to ensure the functionality of the wear process and extend the tool service life. Acoustic emission is one of the promising NDT methods for this application. The surface treatment chosen for this investigation was ion implantation. Three types of wear resistant materials with and without surface treatment were selected for this project; silicon nitride and two tungsten carbides (6% Cobalt and 10% Cobalt). This investigation was conducted using a pin-on-disk device for wear/friction tests of the selected materials with lubrication and/or without lubrication against both a stainless steel disk and an aluminum disk. The acoustic emissions generated during the experiments were recorded and analyzed. The results of this investigation showed that the ion implantation improved the tribological properties of the materials and reduced acoustic emission and coefficient of friction. A linear relationship between the average amplitude of the acoustic emission and the coefficient of friction of the tested materials was found. The investigation demonstrated that the acoustic emission method could be used to monitor the wear/friction processes.


Acoustic emission testing, Silicon nitride, Tungsten carbide-cobalt alloys, Ion implantation, Protective coatings, Dies (Metal-working) Design and construction

Rights Statement

Copyright 2010, author