Properties and Selection of Aluminum Alloys
Aluminum alloys are widely used in engineered components because of their excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Their use in applications requiring wear resistance is more limited. One of the main limitations of aluminum alloys is the poor tribological behavior mainly due to their relatively low hardness, which favors large plastic deformation under sliding conditions. This article discusses the classes and mechanisms of wear in aluminum-silicon alloys, aluminum-tin bearing alloys, and aluminum-matrix composites; describes the effect of material-related parameters on wear behavior of these alloys; and reviews their applications in a variety of tribological applications in the automotive industry ranging from aluminum-tin alloys for plain bearings to alloys with hard anodizing for machine elements. Methods to improve wear resistance and alloy hardness are also discussed.