Hard chromium plating has reached its technological plateau. Possibilities of further development with respect to quality improvement and cost reduction are rather limited therefore. Moreover, the technology itself is increasingly challenged by pollution related concerns. Alternative solutions gain increased importance. It is the main objective of this research proposal to develop a dry, pollution minimised coating technology based on novel PVD approaches. The most recent findings of superlattice structured hard PVD coatings like TiN/NbN, TiAIN/TiNbN or TiAIN/ZrN with hardness values beyond HV 5000 will be utilised to develop CrN based fine layered superlattice hard coatings with hardness values beyond HV 4000. As a material partner to CrN, corrosion resistant coating materials such as TaN or NbN will be examined. It is the goal of the project to outperform 20 m thick electroplated hard chromium by 3 m thick super lattice structured CrN/TaN or CrN/NbN PVD coatings with respect to abrasive wear and corrosion behaviour not only in conventional saltspray tests, but also under extremely severe corrosion conditions. It is planned to evaluate these coatings in precision equipment, automotive, textile and paper machinery and every-day consumer applications.