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Structural and Tribological Properties of TiC/C/Ag Coatings in Vacuum and Ambient Environments

  • Jose L. Endrino (a1), Jose J. Nainaparampil (a2) and James E. Krzanowski (a1)

Abstract

TiC/C/Ag coatings were deposited by magnetron sputtering pulsed laser deposition (MSPLD) combining sputtering from a custom made Ti-Ag (60:40) target with the ablation of carbon. Energy disperse spectroscopy (EDS) was used to determine the elemental composition, and x-ray diffraction (XRD) and cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy (XSEM) to examine the structure of the films. Hardness and reduced modulus measurements were acquired using a nanoindentation technique. The pin-on-disk friction test was used to study the friction behavior of the deposited samples in high vacuum and ambient conditions. Variations in the laser energy and the power of the sputtering gun yielded a set of samples with carbon content that ranged from 15.0 to 95.6 percent. The hardest samples with the highest reduced modulus were those with a moderate carbon content and that were shown to form a titanium carbide phase. Tribological results indicated that there is an optimum composition of a TiC/C/Ag coating (~25 at.% carbon) for which it can be reversible and provide lubrication in both ambient and vacuum.

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