Dry sliding adhesive wear behaviour of as-cast and austempered ductile iron (ADI) samples alloyed with manganese and copper was investigated in a pin-on-disc wear testing machine. As-cast samples suffered a rapid and continuous wear, while the austempered samples exhibited improved wear resistance on increasing the austempering temperature and time. ADI samples with higher copper plus manganese contents inherently possessed higher hardness due to presence of martensite in the ausferrite matrix. The wear conditions used in the present
study further promoted the formation of martensite under wear load and contributed much improved wear performance. In ADIs containing manganese only, wear process involved a mixed mechanism of oxidation and delamination. On combined alloying with copper and manganese, wear resistance increased considerably showing only mild oxidation and practically no delamination. The combinedly alloyed austempered samples exhibited even better wear resistance than that of cast and heat treated high manganese steel. Thus, the addition of manganese and copper in the experimental ductile irons assisted austempering by virtue of their synergistic effect on hardenability of Fe-C alloys and improving wear resistance through subsequent work hardening of the wear surface.