Factors affecting the corrosion resistance of PVD thin films

Jari Aromaa, Helena Ronkainen, Kari Saarinen, Amar Mahiout, Simo-Pekka Hannula

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Carbides, borides and nitrides of transition metals are increasingly used as coating materials because of their high hardness and excellent wear resistance. However, these coatings can also potentially be used in applications requiring corrosion resistance because of their inherent stability under a variety of aqueous conditions. Thin film coatings based on these materials are generally produced by PVD methods. Such coatings often exhibit porosity which usually is thought to result from pinholes formed during deposition. If local defects form a direct path between the corrosive environment and the base material the corrosion protection is lost. In this work the influence of different factors on the corrosion resistance of PVD coatings was studied. The factors evaluated were the thickness of the coating, the thickness and the type of the intermediate layer, the composition of the coating and the number of heterogeneities in the coating. Electrochemical porosity measurements which are essential for the estimation of the corrosion resistance of coated components were made in 1 N sulfuric acid solution at ambient temperature. In these conditions corrosion of a coated steel part occurs mainly in the base material. Corrosion resistance was also evaluated with immersion tests. The results of this work suggest the dominating role of the inhomogeneities on the corrosion resistance of the PVD (Ti,Al)N and TiN coatings. Preliminary analysis of the nature of the inhomogeneities is made and their possible source is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages60
    ISBN (Print)951-38-4653-9
    Publication statusPublished - 1995
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Publications


    • surface coatings
    • borides
    • carbides
    • nitrides
    • corrosion resistance
    • porosity
    • thin films
    • titanium nitrides
    • titanium borides
    • titanium carbides


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