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Open AccessArticle

Bio-Inspired Functional Surface Fabricated by Electrically Assisted Micro-Embossing of AZ31 Magnesium Alloy

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Key Laboratory of Micro-Systems and Micro-Structures Manufacturing, Ministry of Education, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150080, China
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Laboratory for Space Environment and Physical Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
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School of Mechanical Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
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School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Robotics and Microsystems Center, Soochow University, Suzhou 215131, China
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Av. Eduard Maristany, 16, 08019 Barcelona, Spain
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Beijing Hangxing Machinery Manufacture Limited Corporation, Beijing 100013, China
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(2), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13020412
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2020 / Accepted: 12 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromanufacturing of Metallic Materials)
Developing bio-inspired functional surfaces on engineering metals is of extreme importance, involving different industrial sectors, like automotive or aeronautics. In particular, micro-embossing is one of the efficient and large-scale processes for manufacturing bio-inspired textures on metallic surfaces. However, this process faces some problems, such as filling defects and die breakage due to size effect, which restrict this technology for some components. Electrically assisted micro-forming has demonstrated the ability of reducing size effects, improving formability and decreasing flow stress, making it a promising hybrid process to control the filling quality of micro-scale features. This research focuses on the use of different current densities to perform embossed micro-channels of 7 μm and sharklet patterns of 10 μm in textured bulk metallic glass dies. These dies are prepared by thermoplastic forming based on the compression of photolithographic silicon molds. The results show that large areas of bio-inspired textures could be fabricated on magnesium alloy when current densities higher than 6 A/mm2 (threshold) are used. The optimal surface quality scenario is obtained for a current density of 13 A/mm2. Additionally, filling depth and depth–width ratio nonlinearly increases when higher current densities are used, where the temperature is a key parameter to control, keeping it below the temperature of the glass transition to avoid melting or an early breakage of the die. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrically assisted; micro-embossing; bio-inspired functional surface; bulk metallic glass; photolithography electrically assisted; micro-embossing; bio-inspired functional surface; bulk metallic glass; photolithography
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Wang, X.; Xu, J.; Wang, C.; Sánchez Egea, A.J.; Li, J.; Liu, C.; Wang, Z.; Zhang, T.; Guo, B.; Cao, J. Bio-Inspired Functional Surface Fabricated by Electrically Assisted Micro-Embossing of AZ31 Magnesium Alloy. Materials 2020, 13, 412.

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