Abstract

The microstructure and wear behavior of AISI 304 stainless steel after Nd:YAG pulsed laser surface melting (LSM) were investigated. The microstructural features of the LSM layer were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscope and high-resolution transmission electron microscope. Experimental results showed that the microstructure was obviously refined to the nano- and sub-micrometer scales on the AISI 304 stainless steel surface after LSM treatment. Fine grains with grain size of less than 200 nm were obtained when the applied laser energy densities were in the range of ${1.90} \times {{1}}{{{0}}^7}$ to ${3.52} \times {{1}}{{{0}}^7}\;{\rm{J}}/{{\rm{m}}^2}$ during LSM. The results indicated that the calculated surface temperature, cooling rate, and measured grain size are closely related to the adopted laser energy densities. The lower the laser energy density is, the lower the surface temperature, and the faster the cooling rate, the finer the grain size. In addition, the microhardness and wear resistance of the stainless steel was significantly improved. Finally, the wear mechanism after LSM process was revealed.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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