Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Applied sciences, Engine blocks, Magnesium alloys, Plasma electrolyte oxidation, Wear protection


Xueyuan Nie




In order to reduce the fuel consumption and pollution, automotive companies are developing magnesium-intensive components. However, due to the low wear resistance of the magnesium (Mg) alloys, Mg cylinder bores are vulnerable to the sliding wear attack. In this thesis, two approaches were used to protect the cylinder bores, made of a new developed Mg engine alloy AJ62 (MgA16Mn0.34Sr2). The first one was to use a Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) process to produce oxide coatings on the Mg bores. The wear properties of the PEO coatings were evaluated by sliding wear tests under the boundary lubrication condition at the room and elevated temperatures. It was found that due to the substrate softening and the vaporization loss of the lubricant, the tribological properties of the PEO coatings were deteriorated at the elevated temperature. In order to optimize the PEO process, a statistical method (Response surface method) was used to analyze the effects of the 4 main PEO process parameters with 2 levels for each and their interactions on the tribological properties of the PEO coatings at the room and elevated temperatures, individually. A cylinder liner made of an economical metal-matrix composite (MMC) was another approach to improve the wear resistance of the Mg cylinder bore. In this thesis, an A1383/SiO2 MMC was designed to replace the expensive Alusil alloy used in the BMW Mg/Al composite engine to build the cylinder liner. To further increase the wear resistance of the MMC, PEO process was also used to form an oxide coating on the MMC. The effects of the SiO 2 content and coating thickness on the tribological properties of the MMC were studied. To evaluate the wear properties of the optimal PEO coated Mg coupons and the MMC with the oxide coatings, Alusil and cast iron, currently used on the cylinder bores of the commercial aluminum engines, were used as reference materials. The optimal PEO coated Mg coupons and the oxidized MMC showed their advantages over the two reference materials under the high contact stress, especially at the elevated temperature.