Table of Contents
Journal of Metallurgy
Volume 2012, Article ID 762125, 10 pages
Research Article

Surface Modification of Light Alloys by Low-Energy High-Current Pulsed Electron Beam

1Key Laboratory of Materials Modification, Department of Materials Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
2Laboratoire d'Etude des Microstructures et de Mécanique des Matériaux (LEM3), CNRS UMR 7239, Université Paul Verlaine-Metz, Ile du Saulcy, 57045 Metz, France
3Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Mg Materials and Applications, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
4School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenyang University, Shenyang 200240, China

Received 16 February 2011; Revised 17 August 2011; Accepted 9 December 2011

Academic Editor: Stefano Gialanella

Copyright © 2012 X. D. Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reviews results obtained by the research groups developing the low-energy high-current pulsed electron beam (LEHCPEB) in Dalian (China) and Metz (France) on the surface treatment of light alloys. The pulsed electron irradiation induces an ultra-fast thermal cycle at the surface combined with the formation of thermal stress and shock waves. As illustrated for Mg alloys and Ti, this results in deep subsurface hardening (over several 100 μm) which improves the wear resistance. The analysis of the top surface melted surface of light alloys also often witnesses evaporation and condensation of chemical species. This phenomenon can significantly modify the melt chemistry and was also suggested to lead to the development of specific solidification textures in the rapidly solidified layer. The potential use of the LEHCPEB technique for producing thermomechanical treatments under the so-called heating mode and, thus, modify the surface crystallographic texture, and enhance solid-state diffusion is also demonstrated in the case of the FeAl intermetallic compound.