The results obtained clearly show that it is possible to make hard and smooth coatings. Especially the stoichiometric region along the B-N axis, the B4C-region along the B-C axis, and the carbon-rich region are promising areas within the B-N-C triangle.
The carbon-rich region is promising for tribological applications were sliding wear is important. The BN-layers can be useful in optical applications (e.g. scratch resistant and transparent coatings on glass or plastic). The superhard B4C coatings have opportunities in tooling applications.
This project aims at the optimization of the mechanical properties and performance of BxNyCz coatings deposited by the following techniques: plasma-assisted CVD, r.f. reactive magnetron sputtering (PVD) and laser assisted CVD. The coating will be investigated across the whole B-N-C triangle. These coatings are expected to have numerous attractive properties such as a good transparency, an extreme hardness combined with a low friction coefficient, a smooth surface, a good chemical and thermal stability and a high thermal conductivity. These coatings will therefore be very useful for wear resistant applications (especially wear due to sliding components). They shall overcome the main drawbacks associated with diamond-like carbon coatings (unstable for operating temperatures above 300 C) and Ti(C,N) coatings (high friction coefficient).
After a short period dedicated to the modification of equipment, a parametric optimization study will be performed assisted by standard and advanced characterization techniques, including functional properties testing. During the last year of the project, small coated parts will be tested under industrial service conditions. At the end, this effort will provide a well-founded selection guide for BxNyCz coating techniques and applications, specified for each coating technology envisaged. This will form a good start for an Industrial Research programme.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts