Tribological analysis of fracture conditions in thin surface coatings by 3D FEM modelling and stress simulations

Kenneth Holmberg (Corresponding Author), Anssi Laukkanen, Helena Ronkainen, Kim Wallin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    A tribological analysis of deformations and stresses generated and their influence on crack generation and surface fracture in a coated surface loaded by a sliding sphere in dry conditions is presented. A three-dimensional finite element method (3D FEM) model has been developed for calculating the first principal stress distribution in the scratch tester contact of a diamond spherical tip with 200 μm radius sliding with increasing load on a 2 μm thick titanium nitride coated steel surface. The model is comprehensive in that sense that it considers elastic, plastic and fracture behaviour of the surfaces. The hard coating will be stretched and accumulates high tensile stresses. At the same time, it is carrying part of the load and thus reducing the compressional stresses in the substrate under the sliding tip. The first crack is initiated at the top of the coating from bending and pulling actions and it grows down through the coating. The fracture toughness of the coating is calculated by identifying from a scratch test experiment the location of the first cracks and the crack density and using this as input data.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1035-1049
    Number of pages15
    JournalTribology International
    Issue number11-12
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Thin coating
    • Fracture
    • Scratch test
    • Stress modelling
    • Finite-element method
    • Fracture toughness
    • ProperTune


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