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Microstructure Development and the Mechanisms of Lubrication in Magnetron Sputtered HfC-Ag and SiC-Ag Composite Thin Films

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2011

Jose L. Endrino
Affiliation:
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, U. S. A.
Jose J. Nainaparampil
Affiliation:
Wright Patterson AFB, AFRL/MLBT, Dayton, OH 45433, U. S. A.
James E. Krzanowski
Affiliation:
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, U. S. A.
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Abstract

A soft thin coating on top of a hard substrate is a highly effective way to reduce friction of sliding mechanical components. However, soft coatings often have high wear and short lifetimes, and the restoring of solid lubricants can be remarkably uneconomical. In our recent work, composite TiC-Ag films were successfully deposited by the magnetron-sputtering pulsed laser deposition technique (MSPLD). Secondary electron (SE) images from the wear tracks revealed that silver migrates to the surface and smears along the sliding direction providing low friction, while the carbide phase provides adequate support and storage for the solid lubricant phase, all resulting in lower wear and longer lifetime. One proposed mechanism for lubrication is the friction-induced thermally activated migration of silver to the surface due to the insolubility of the carbide and silver phases which was corroborated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The formation of incoherent interfaces between the two phases, observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), may influence the adhesive friction behavior of the soft metal. In this study, we investigate the structural properties and vacuum tribological behavior of SiC-Ag and HfC-Ag films.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2003

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References

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