Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Coating technology for production of wear resistant Carbon/Carbon multilayer system

A PVD coating technology was developed that allows the deposition of nanostructured carbon coatings for demanding tribological applications. The coating can be deposited by vacuum-arc discharge from graphite sources in dedicated PVD coating machines. There was developed a pulsed arc technique allowing for high-rate deposition of good-quality C/C-ML films in the thickness range 100 nm - 10 µm. The films can be deposited on complex three-dimensional metal substrates as steel components and tools. The periodicity is obtained by periodical change of deposition parameters influencing the energy of depositing carbon species.

The developed Carbon/Carbon multilayer (C/C-ML) is a coating for protecting metallic surfaces from wear and to reduce the friction force under tribological loading. It is a nanostructured amorphous coating consisting of 100% carbon. The layered nanostructure is obtained by periodic variation of chemical bonding state (sp-hybridization) between carbon atoms.

The film is composed of nanometre-layers with dominating sp3-content (diamond bonding) and dominating sp2-content (graphite bonding). Irrespective of partial graphite bonding the overall coating hardness is high (>40 GPa) resulting in extraordinary good wear resistance. The nanostructured C/C-ML is predestined for tribological application under demanding mechanical loading conditions. The films have high potential for low-wear and low-friction application e.g. on components in automotive industry. The special benefit of the coatings is the extremely low friction and wear under dry and mixed lubrication conditions.

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