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Low Friction Layers

Low Friction Layers

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Published by: iordache on Jun 07, 2013
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7 – 8 November 2005, Srni - Czech Republic

M.Sosnová, J.Hájek, P. Podaný, M.Zetek, P. Beneš, A. Kříž Keywords: Low friction layers, DLC, PLC.

1. Introduction
Low friction layers have lower hardness than common wear resistant layers. Their main function is to create the sliding surface. To this group belong “soft” layers, which are applied only in combination with hard coatings like TiN, TiAlN, TiCN and layers Diamond-like carbon (DLC); which appropriately combine excellent sliding properties with good hardness. There are many varieties of carbon layers in the market. They have in common - low friction coefficient [Holubář 2005].

2. Low friction layers
Low friction layers represent important group of tools’ industrial surface modification. Their technical benefit in machining and forming is possible to summarize [Zindulka 2005]: • better sliding properties • significant decrease in “adhesion” between layer and workpiece • tool’s steady run-in • decrease of cutting forces and their fluent course • limitation of built-up edge effect, especially during machining of non-ferrous materials Carbon forms a great variety of crystalline and disordered structures because it is able to exist in three hybridisations, sp3, sp2 and sp1 (see fig.1) [Robertson 2002]. Carbon coatings have attracted a rapidly increasing number of researches since the middle of 1980’s and these layers are today probably the most intensively researched surface coatings. Diamond has a cubic crystal lattice with a four fold sp 3 covalent bond structure. Graphite has a hexagonal lattice structure with sp2-bonded two-dimensional planes interconnected by weak Van der Waals forces. Amorphous carbon is a transitional form of carbon which has no long-range order and the local structure varies depending on the growth procedure [Holmberg 1998].

Fig. 1 The sp3, sp2, sp1 hybridised bonding.

electrical and chemical properties to natural diamond. 2 Bonding in DLC layers. . Structure and the properties of a-C:H depend on the preparation conditions. µ=0. R. • adhesive interaction with other materials — nearly none. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings are promising candidates for dry machining of aluminium alloys since in ambient conditions aluminium has much less tendency to adhere to the DLC coating surfaces and the formation of a built-up edge compared to other hard coatings such as TiN.Amorphous hydrogenated carbon films (a-C:H) are usually deposited in low temperature plasmas from a hydrocarbon precursor gas [Keudell 2002]. plasma deposition is the most popular preparation method of a-C:H. • maximum endurable temperature — 600°C for a steel substrate and >800°C for ceramic substrate. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) layers are characterized by high wear resistance. optical. flux. film properties range from polymer-like and soft films to hard and wear resistant coatings [Keudell 2002]. but which do not have a dominant crystalline lattice structure. hardness and elasticity. however. The most interesting properties of DLC layers. thus high-corrosion resistance. appear to be an ideal material for protecting implants. Fig. are their mechanical ones [Enke 1999]: • plastic hardness between 2000 HV (pure a-C:H) and 3000 HV (doped or alloyed a-C:H). 3. therefore the source gas and hydrogen are important for control of structure and properties of a-C:H [Saito 2000]. These properties make the films good candidates as biocompatible coatings for biomedical devices and tools [Grill 2003]. Depending on process parameters. • elastic recovery (resilience) — 90%. • dry friction coefficient against metals — for a relative humidity of 50%.f. nitrogen or others (doping. The feed gas is dissociated and ionized in the plasma. and energy of the film forming species. • dry friction coefficient against SiC — for a relative humidity of 50%. oxygen. Final stoichiometry and material properties depend strongly on composition. and radicals and ions impinging onto the surface leading to film growth. acetylene or propane. A number of different source gases can be used. They are amorphous and consist of a mixture of sp3 and sp2 carbon structures with sp2-bonded graphite-like clusters in an amorphous sp3-bonded carbon matrix [Holmberg 1998]. graphite-like and polymer-like carbon (PLC). Adding to the hydrocarbon other gases such as hydrogen. TiAlN and CrN [Koncaa 2005]. such as methane. such as methane. the deposition gas should be a hydrocarbon. µ=0. alloying) results in a change of the chemical composition and atomic structure of the DLC. such as hip and knee joints. acetylene or benzene.1. To produce DLC. low friction coefficients and chemical inertness. Hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) has various phases such as diamond-like (DLC). and is a very effective means of tailoring its properties such as friction. DIAMOND-LIKE CARBON (DLC) Diamond-like carbon (DLC) is the name commonly accepted for hard carbon coatings which have similar mechanical.05.

with presence of sp2-bonded carbon => qualities of the layer approach the graphite qualities (graphite has hexagonal crystal lattice). To determine the critical load is used light (LM) or scanning electron microscopy (SEM). POLYMER LIKE CARBON . Critical load values shown in figure 5 are summarized in table 1. Deposition is done in chamber with the presence of hydrocarbon gas. Critical load LC – LC1. Carbon thanks to its reactivity and presence of hydrogen forms polymers. which ensures the system’s mechanical properties [Kříž 2005]. LC3. 2003. R.PLC Polymer-like carbon (PLC) layers have similar sliding properties like above-mentioned DLC layers. In the scratch test (fig. most commonly used is C2H2. Due to that. SCRATCH TEST Scratch test is nowadays the most commonly method used to evaluate the adhesion of the coating – substrate interface. Lower hardness values result from the absence of sp3 bonds. The normal load at which this happens is called the critical load Lc (fig. The method is repeatable and capable of generating stresses. Scheme of the scratch test. PLC layer is never applied individually. . LC3 (~ 44N) and LS (~ 46N) do not differ much. Fig.4) expressed in Newton (N). LC3 [N] – represents the load at which the substrate is firstly revealed. LC2. Their deposition is done only on experimental basis. Values of critical loads LC2 (~ 38N). which exceed the interfacial bond strength of thin layers. These qualities cause good accumulation of plastic deformation. Following the theoretical information PLC layers belong to the “soft” low friction layers. First failure of the coating occurs at critical load LC1 ~ 35N and sudden inburst to the substrate follows afterwards. which is bearer of carbon. That is the consequence of layer’s qualities. 5. 3. acoustic emission (AE) and frictional force measurement. which have not been examined substantially. [Jacobs. W. 4. but only in presence of other layer. 2003] Fig. LC1[N] – represents the load at which the first failure occurs at the borders of the scratch track.3) a diamond stylus (Rockwell – tip radius 200 µm) is drawn over the sample surface under a stepwise or continuously increasing normal force until a particular failure of the coating occurs and the coating detaches. which is developed by indenter during the scratch test. LC2 [N] – represents the load at which the cracks are accompanied by interfacial spallation. Compared to DLC layers Polymer-like carbon (PLC) layers do not achieve such high hardness values. however their sliding properties are thanks to their character steadier. Precht. POLYMER LIKE CARBON (PLC) LAYER PLC layer excellently accumulates plastic deformation as is obvious from the light microscopy.4. Coating detachment at the critical load is a measure for the adhesion. LS [N] – represents the load at which the substrate is totally revealed.

First failure of the coating appeared at critical load LC1 ~ 24N and LC2 ~ 26N. Spallation along the scratch track borders occurs by all scratches. . 5 Detail of thin layer failure . Fig.continuous ductile perforation of the coating (LM). 6 Detail of thin layer failure .Fig. DIAMOND-LIKE CARBON (DLC) LAYER Diamond like carbon layer has good adhesive cohesive properties. Critical load values shown in figure 6 are summarized in table 1.spallation along the scratch track borders (SEM). Substrate is totally revealed at LS ~ 50N. causing the layer to delaminate into the substrate (fig 6).

106/03/P092.Fig. Whole version of this contribution. Table 1. that values of the critical loads are not so high compared to common wear resistant layers. will be available during the conference at www.ateam. Layer PLC DLC Critical load ∅ Lc LC1 [N] LC2 [N] LC3 [N] 44 ± 3 44 ± 6 LS [N] 46 ± 2 50 ± 11 35 ± 15 24 ± 4 38 ± 12 26 ± 5 6.cz.zcu. 7 End of the scratch – total substrate exposure (SEM). SUMMARY Results from Scratch test showed. . However. if the work material sticks strongly to the coating it could result in severe cohesive delamination or detachment of the coating [Koncaa 2005]. Critical loads of thin layers. but PLC and DLC layers have excellent friction properties and great potential for dry cutting operations. Low friction layers are considered as a perfect coating for aluminium alloy dry machining since in ambient conditions aluminium has much less tendency to adhere to the DLC coating surfaces and the formation of a built-up edge. Acknowledgement This contribution was supported by internal grant FST-ZCU in Plzen and project GACR . as well as presentation.

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