TiN coatings were in situ deposited on un-nitrided and nitrided M2 high speed steels by electrically enhanced cathodic arc evaporation technology. The morphology, microstructure, phase composition, as well as microhardness and nano-hardness of the samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscope, optical microscope, X-ray diffraction, Vickers hardness tester, and nano-indentation, respectively. In especially, the effect of nitriding substrate current density on the adhesion strength of in situ TiN coatings was investigated by Rockwell indentation and scratch tests. The results showed that the nitrided layer thickness increased with increasing substrate current density and “bright” nitrided layer was achieved. In the Rockwell indentation test, the radial cracks on the surface of the duplex-treated samples originated from the hard and brittle nitrided layer as compared to the nitrided substrate, which corresponded to the failure mechanism of brittle fracture. In the scratch test, the adhesion strength of coating to substrates was significantly improved by nitriding pretreatment. Furthermore, the critical load of the duplex-treated samples increased with the increase of nitriding substrate current density. In addition, tensile cracks only occurred in the case of the N120/TiN sample.
Effect of plasma nitriding substrate current density on the adhesion strength of in situ PVD TiN coatings
Xin Zhang, Xiu-bo Tian, Chun-zhi Gong, Xiang-li Liu, Jin Li; Effect of plasma nitriding substrate current density on the adhesion strength of in situ PVD TiN coatings. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 12 May 2023; 41 (3): 033405. https://doi.org/10.1116/6.0002353
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