Nickel diffusion treatment of Timetal 550 titanium alloy

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham
  • Balzers Tool Coating Division


A series of nickel diffusion treatments have been carried out on Timetal 550 titanium alloy at temperatures ranging from 650 to 900 °C in order to achieve deep case hardening. Systematic characterization of the nickel diffusion treated surface layers was performed using GDS, XRD, EDS, SEM, and optical microscopy. Microhardness and compositional profiles have been carried out in order to reveal the hardening effect and the nickel penetration. The sliding wear resistance against hardened 709M40 steel was evaluated using an Amsler wear tester. The results have shown that by choosing proper treatment parameters, different combinations of intermetallics from the system Ti-Ni can be formed in a selective manner. In addition, with specific conditions it is possible to form diffusion zones without intermetallics on the surface. Finally, a significant improvement in the sliding wear resistance was observed for treated specimens under unlubricated and lightly loaded conditions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999