Cavitation erosion mechanism of S31600 stainless steel laser surface-modified with unclad WC

K. H. Lo, F. T. Cheng, Hau Chung Man

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Laser surface modification of UNS S31600 stainless steel using coarse unclad WC powder (particle size ≈60 μm) for enhancing cavitation erosion resistance was attempted. WC powder was preplaced on as-received S31600 substrate and irradiated by a high-power CW Nd:YAG laser to form a metal-matrix composite (MMC) layer on the substrate. By varying the laser fluence, MMC layers consisting of 3-28 vol.% of WC particles were formed. The microstructure, composition, and the phases present in the modified layer were studied by optical microscopy (OM), energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). The cavitation erosion resistance Rein 3.5% NaCl solution was determined using an ultrasonic vibratory facility. Rewas found to attain a maximum value (10.7 times that of as-received S31600) at 9 vol.% of WC. The damaged surface after the cavitation erosion test was studied by SEM to identify the damage mechanism. The variation of Rewith the volume fraction of WC was explained in terms of the erosion mechanism of the matrix and the WC particles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-180
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2003


  • Cavitation erosion
  • Laser surface modification
  • S31600 stainless steel
  • Unclad tungsten carbide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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