Mechanical and tribological properties enhancement of heat treated AISI 4340 steel by using a TiN/TiAlN multilayer coating system
Keywords:Magnetron sputtering, multilayer system, hard coatings, TiN/TiAlN coatings
TiN/TiAlN (titanium nitride/titanium aluminum nitride) multilayer were deposited by d.c. reactive magnetron sputtering using titanium and aluminum targets with 10 cm in diameter and 99.9% purity in an argon/nitrogen (Ar/ N) atmosphere, applying a substrate temperature of 300°C and a pressure of 7x10-3 mbar. Silicon (100) and heat treated AISI 4340 steel samples with a hardness of 54 Rockwell C (HRC, approximately 5.4 GPa) were utilized as substrate. TiN/TiAlN coatings with 70% aluminum and 4 ìm total thicknesswere investigated as function of multilayer number and their mechanical and tribological properties compared to the uncoated steel samples. The crystalline structure of the coated samples was analyzed through X-ray diffractometry and its morphology and topography using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Hardness was determined by means of nanoindentation, while wear resistance was characterized through pin on disc measurements. A hardness and Young Modulus increment from 62% and 70% respectively, were obtained for 150 multilayer of TiN/TiAlN related to 30 bilayers and from 740% and 202% respectively, compared with the uncoated AISI 4340 steel samples. Finally the friction coefficient was reduced from 0.55 down to 0.20 and the roughness from 63 nm to 3.2 nm for the steel samples coated with 150 bilayers of TiN/TiAlN, what conduced to a greater wear resistance of the coating system.
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