Solid-state bonding between steel and a Cu alloy was studied to investigate fabrication of advanced bimetallic composites by using spark plasma sintering (SPS). In order to obtain proper bonding strength between the mating materials, Si and Al were alloyed to Cu-Zn brass to enhance interdiffusion with steel. The alloying elements diffused from the Cu alloy to steel, which transformed from the gamma to alpha phase during bonding. Owing to the phase stability of steel, the new columnar microstructure that evolved during the transformation across the joint interface showed high bonding strength between the mating alloys. The samples bonded without fracture, defects, or inhomogeneous deformation. Microstructural observations, elementary mapping, and mechanical testing demonstrated that the SPS technique and specific bonding parameters enhanced the interdiffusion between the metals. This novel method would be well suited to strengthen bonding between two dissimilar metals with different diffusion coefficients.
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