The objective of the project will be to study the effect of PIII based coatings on the mechanical performances of austenitic stainless steels, which have excellent corrosion resistance but poor wear behaviour. In Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation (P. energetic ions, drawn from a plasma by high voltage pulses onto the workpiece to be modified, lead to structural compostional modifications of the surface and the surface-near region and induce changes of the surface properties and behaviour. The particular feature of this technique is its lower process temperature compared to other plasma techniques.
At the University of Augsburg in Germany, PIII group created a new version of PIII-technique combining it with Magnetron Sputter Coating, up to now the only one of this kind in the world.
In this project different steels will be coated with titanium based hard materials (TiN, TiCN, TiAIN) by using various types of in vacuo pretreatment (ion etching at low ion energy and plasma immersion ion implantation of nitrogen at high ion energy), coating (by magnetron sputtering optimizing the different process parameters) and post treatment (PIII of the deposited coatings modifying their composition and/or structure). The coatings will be then characterised by different analytical techniques (AES RBS, XRD, STM, AFM) and mechanical tests to measure hardness, adhesion and wear behaviour (nanohardness, pin-pull test, scratch test, pin on disc). The corrosion resistance will also be tested by exposing the coated steel to various corrosive media.
The joint research project between the partners* will also address the industrial applicability of PIII/Sputtering technique for fabricating hard material coatings.
In Europe research activities on this topics are carried out in England and in Germany only, but not in the applicant's country. Her participation to the project will be a contribution to disseminate knowledge relative to the PIII-technology in the European Community.
* University of Augsburg, Research Centre Rossendorf, Frauenhofer-Institut of Lasertechnology Aachen, Materials Application Technology GmbH Dresden and Robert Bosch GmbH Stuttgart