Al2O3 coatings have been deposited onto an Al alloy by the fluidized bed (FB) technique using alumina powder. Film formation through a cold deposition process and its growth kinetics have been investigated by varying the deposition time. This allowed us to establish how the morphology, microstructure, hardness, scratch resistance, and adhesion strength of the Al2O3 films were progressively imprinted. The FB process led to the deposition of a good-looking and well-adhered graded Al2O3 coating, which was found to be progressively richer in Al2O3 on moving from the interface with the Al alloy toward the outermost layers. The resulting Al2O3 coatings have been shown to produce a consistent improvement of the overall mechanical and tribological performance of the Al alloy, thus leading to the build-up of an overlying hard and tough protective layer.

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