The stress corrosion cracking (SCC) response of Al 6061 bulk deposits produced by high-pressure cold spray (HPCS) was investigated and compared to commercial wrought Al 6061-T6 material. Representative tensile coupons were stressed to 25%, 65% and 85% of their respective yield strength and exposed to ASTM B117 salt fog for 90 days. After exposure, the samples were mechanically tested to failure, and subsequently investigated for stress corrosion cracking via optical and scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The results were compared to the wrought Al 6061-T6 properties and correlated with the observed microstructures. Wrought samples showed the initiation of stress corrosion cracking, while the cold-sprayed deposits appeared to be unaffected or affected by general corrosion only. Optical microscopy revealed evidence of stress corrosion cracking in the form of intergranular corrosion in the wrought samples, while no significant corrosion was observed in the cold-sprayed deposits. Fractography revealed wrought samples failed due to multiple mechanisms, with predominant cleavage and intergranular failure, but cold-sprayed samples only failed by ductile dimple rupture. The difference in SCC response between the differently processed materials is attributed to the documented benefits of the cold spray process, which includes maintaining fine grain structure of the feedstock powder and high density after consolidation, low oxidation, and work hardening effect.
Mala Sharma, Jeremy Schreiber, Timothy Eden and Victor Champagne