Analytical transmission electron microscopy has been applied to characterize the microstructure, phase and chemical composition of the Ag–Al wear track throughout its thickness down to the atomic level. Microscopy findings have been correlated with Ag–Al film tribological properties to understand the effect of the hexagonal solid solution phase on the tribological properties of this film. Ag–25Al (at.%) films have been produced by simultaneous magnetron sputtering of components in Ar atmosphere under 1 mTorr pressure and subjected to pin-on-disc tribological tests. It has been shown that hcp phase with (001) planes aligned parallel to the film surface dominates both in as-deposited and in tribofilm areas of the Ag–Al alloy film. Possible mechanisms of reduced friction in easily oxidized Ag–Al system are discussed and the mechanism based on readily shearing basal planes of the hcp phase is considered as the most probable one.
The impacts of industrial wastewater contamination on the geotechnical properties of clayey soil have been studied in the research presented in this paper. The contaminant in question is industrial wastewater released from Thi-Qar oil refinery as a by-product of production, and the soil samples obtained from Thi-Qar oil refinery plant in Al-Nassyriah (a city located in the south of Iraq). The geotechnical properties of contaminated soil samples were compared with those of intact soil to measure the effects of such a contaminant. The soil samples were obtained from three locations in the study area; representing the highly contaminated area, the slightly contaminated area, and the intact area used as a reference for comparison of test results. The results of the tests showed that the contaminant causes an increase of natural moisture content, field unit weight, Atterberg’s limits, and maximum dry unit weight, as well as an increase of the compression index and the coefficient of vertical consolidation. Also, the contaminant causes a decrease in specific gravity, the optimum moisture content initial void ratio, the swelling index, the coefficient of permeability, and cohesion between soil particles.