Wear behavior of graded Cr-CrN-Cr(1−x)Al(x)N coatings synthesized by closed-field unbalanced magnetron sputtering for advanced machining operations
School of Engineering
Graded Cr-CrN-Cr(1−x)Al(x)N coatings were synthesized onto M42 HSS substrates used in advanced machining operations by closed-field unbalanced magnetron sputtering (CFUBMS). The tribological behavior of these graded coatings was explored in detail by advanced electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, nanoindentation and dry sliding wear tests. The presence and magnitude of residual stresses in these coatings were determined by the XRD – sin2ψ method, which revealed increasing compressive stresses with increasing Al content. The coating surface morphology, mechanical properties were determined prior to dry sliding wear by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and nanoindentation methods, which yielded decreasing surface roughness (Ra) as well as enhancement of hardness and modulus along with increase in H/E and H3/E2 ratios with increasing Al content. Tribological investigation was performed with a pin-on-disc arrangement by keeping the sliding velocity (0.2 ms−1) and normal axial load (10 N) constant and varying the sliding distance. Specific wear rates of the order ~ 10–17 m3 N−1 m−1 were encountered for all coatings with the wear rates increasing as the Al content increased implying a decrease of wear resistance of the coatings. Abrasive wear has been found to be the dominant wear mechanism during dry sliding wear. Increasing modulus mismatch between coating and substrate can be mainly attributed to a decrease in wear resistance of the coatings.