Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

New tribological coating

A low friction DLC coating has been developed for use in tribological applications, in combination with biodegradable lubricants. The development aims at improving both the performance and production cost of the DLC coating. DLC coatings deposited by means of a PACVD process show beneficial properties such as high hardness; low coefficient of friction and high wear resistance. They are primarily used in tribological (e.g. wear protection of machine components) and anti-sticking (e.g. release layers for plastic injection moulds) applications.

The deposition process is scaled up to commercially viable dimensions (reactor volume of several m3). However, the adhesion of this coating to the substrate material is not sufficient for severe tribological applications, occurring e.g. in the automotive industry. Consequently, there is a strong need to improve the adhesion of the DLC coating. This goal has been achieved by optimising the coating deposition process. A hybrid PACVD/PVD process is able to deposit DLC coatings with an extremely good adhesion to virtually any kind of substrate material.

The drawback of this technology is the process complexity, which has an impact on the cost-effectiveness. The upscaling and optimisation of the hybrid deposition process results in a commercially feasible technique for deposition of high performance DLC coatings. This innovative adjustment of the deposition process will extend the application area of the deposited DLC coatings and increase the market potential by 15%.

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