Tribological performance of coated surfaces

Kenneth Holmberg, Anssi Laukkanen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The fundamentals of coating tribology is presented in a generalised holistic approach to friction and wear mechanisms of coated surfaces in dry sliding contacts. It is based on a classification of the tribological contact process into macromechanical, micromechanical, tribochemical contact mechanisms and material transfer. The tribological contact process is dominated by the macromechanical mechanisms, which have been systematically analysed by using four main parameters: the coating-to-substrate hardness relationship, the film thickness, the surface roughness and the debris in the contact. In this paper special attention is given to the microlevel mechanisms, and in particular new techniques for modelling the elastic, plastic and brittle behaviour of the surface by finite element (FEM) computer simulations. The contact condition with a sphere sliding over a plate coated with a very thin hard coating is analysed. A three dimensional FEM model has been developed for calculating the first principal stress distribution in the scratch tester contact of a diamond spherical tip moving with increased load on a 2 µm thick titanium nitride (TiN) coated steel surface. The model is comprehensive in that sense that it considers elastic, plastic and fracture behaviour of the contact surfaces. By identifying from a scratch experiment the location of the first crack and using this as input data can the fracture toughness of the coating be determined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-27
    Number of pages8
    JournalCailiao Rechuli Xuebao/Transactions of Materials and Heat Treatment
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • hard coatings
    • FEM modelling
    • stress simulation
    • coating fracture
    • ProperTune


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