This work evaluates the dry sliding behavior of anodic aluminum oxides (AAO) formed during one traditional hard anodizing treatment (HA) and two golden hard anodizing treatments (named G and GP, respectively) on a EN AW-6060 aluminum alloy. Three different thicknesses of AAO layers were selected: 25, 50, and 100 μm. Prior to wear tests, microstructure and mechanical properties were determined by scanning electron microscopy (VPSEM/EDS), X-ray diffractometry, diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT-FTIR) spectroscopy, roughness, microhardness, and scratch tests. Wear tests were carried out by a pin-on-disc tribometer using a steel disc as the counterpart material. The friction coefficient was provided by the equipment. Anodized pins were weighed before and after tests to assess the wear rate. Worn surfaces were analyzed by VPSEM/EDS and DRITF-FTIR. Based on the results, the GP-treated surfaces with a thickness of 50 μm exhibit the lowest friction coefficients and wear rates. In any case, a tribofilm is observed on the wear tracks. During sliding, its detachment leads to delamination of the underlying anodic aluminum oxides and to abrasion of the aluminum substrate. Finally, the best tribological performance of G- and GP-treated surfaces may be related to the existence of a thin Ag-rich film at the coating/aluminum substrate interfaces.
Keywords: hard anodizing treatment; mechanical properties; microstructure; silver ions; wear.