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Microstructure and mechanical properties of nanocomposite coatings deposited by cathodic arc evaporation

Author(s): K. Lukaszkowicz | L.A. Dobrzański | W. Kwaśny | K. Labisz | M. Pancielejko

Journal: Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
ISSN 1734-8412

Volume: 42;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 156;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Thin&thick coatings | Nanostructure coatings | Microstructure | Mechanical properties

Purpose: The main aim of the this research was the investigation of the structure and the mechanical properties of the nanocomposite TiAlSiN, CrAlSiN, AlTiCrN coatings deposited by cathodic arc evaporation method onto hot work tool steel substrate.Design/methodology/approach: The surfaces’ topography and the structure of the PVD coatings were observed on the scanning electron microscopy. Diffraction and thin film structure were tested with the use of the transmission electron microscopy. The microhardness tests were made on the dynamic ultra-microhardness tester. Tests of the coatings’ adhesion to the substrate material were made using the scratch test.Findings: It was found that the structure of the PVD coatings consisted of fine crystallites, while their average size fitted within the range of 11-25 nm, depending on the coating type. The coatings demonstrated columnar structure and dense cross-section morphology as well as good adhesion to the substrate. The critical load LC2 lies within the range of 46-54 N, depending on the coating and substrate type. The coatings demonstrate a high hardness (~40 GPa).Practical implications: In order to evaluate with more detail the possibility of applying these surface layers in tools, further investigations should be concentrated on the determination of the thermal fatigue resistance of the coatings. The very good mechanical properties of the nanocomposite coatings make them suitable in industrial applications.Originality/value: The investigation results will provide useful information to applying the nanocomposite coatings for the improvement of mechanical properties of the hot work tool steels.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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