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Tribological behaviour of pulsed magnetron sputtered CrB2 coatings examined by reciprocating sliding wear testing against aluminium alloy and steel

Audronis, Martynas and Rosli, Z. M. and Leyland, Adrian and Kelly, Peter and Matthews, Allan (2008) Tribological behaviour of pulsed magnetron sputtered CrB2 coatings examined by reciprocating sliding wear testing against aluminium alloy and steel. Surface and coatings technology, 202 (8). pp. 1470-1478. ISSN 0257-8972

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Abstract

Among the number of attractive properties that transition-metal diborides (TiB2, CrB2, etc.) possess, high resistance to wear and chemical inertness are the most important when considering diboride coatings for dry machining of nonferrous materials, such as aluminium and its alloys. Due mostly to the problematic deposition of chromium diboride (preparation of targets, target cracking during the deposition process, control of stoichiometry etc.), these coatings remain comparatively less studied than, for example, titanium diborides, regarding their tribological performance. In this paper we report on the tribological behaviour of pulsed magnetron sputtered (PMS), smooth and fully dense, crystalline, 21–38 GPa hard CrB2 coatings examined by reciprocating sliding wear testing in ambient air (20 ± 2 °C, 20–30% humidity) against EN AW-2017A aluminium alloy and AISI 52100 chrome steel. The results are compared to those of pulsed magnetron sputter deposited TiN and CrN coatings. It is demonstrated that pulsed magnetron sputtered chromium diboride coatings exhibit the best tribological performance, in terms of amount of aluminium adhered on the surface of the wear track, during testing against aluminium alloy. When slid against AISI 52100 steel PMS CrB2, CrN and TiN coatings exhibited coefficients of friction of 0.6, 0.6–0.7 and 0.43–0.45 respectively. The tribological behaviour of coatings was found to be dependent on the transfer film formation and its properties. Wear rates were up to ten times lower for pulsed magnetron sputtered CrB2 coatings, compared to DC sputtered Cr–B films.

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