Mechanisms of self-lubrication in patterned TiN coatings containing solid lubricant microreservoirs


The tribological mechanisms of friction and lubrication have been investigated in TIN coatings patterned to contain microscopic reservoirs for solid lubricant entrapment. Photo-lithography was used to fabricate three sets of samples on silicon wafers, varying the reservoir size (4 and 9 mu m) and spacing (11 and 25 mu m), which resulted in samples with a nominal reservoir area of either 2 or 10%. Pin-on-disk tests were run using lubricants of graphite and indium and counterfaces of alumina and steel (440C). In most cases, the samples with the 9 mu m holes spaced 25 mu m apart gave the lowest friction coefficients and longest wear life. Analysis of the wear tracks by SEM/EDS methods showed carbon to be present in the holes of the graphite/steel counterface samples, but TiO(2) was found in the holes of the graphite/alumina counterface samples. For the indium/steel counterface samples indium was detected within the microreservoirs, but iron was also found, transferred from the ball. These experiments highlight a variety of tribological mechanisms that can operate in microreservoir-patterned coatings. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Surface & Coatings Technology



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Copyright © 2010, Elsevier