Mechanical and tribological properties of amorphous carbon films deposited on implanted steel substrates

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Journal / PublicationThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2004


Hydrogen-free amorphous carbon (a-C) films were deposited using unbalanced magnetron sputtering technique from graphite targets on AISI 440C steel substrates implanted with (1) carbon (C), (2) titanium (Ti), and (3) titanium followed by carbon (Ti+C), respectively. After deposition, the adhesion strength of the films was examined by scratch test and Rockwell-C indentation test. The tribological performance of the films was evaluated by a typical ball-on-disk tribometer and a reciprocating wear tester. A dynamic impact tester was also carried out to study the fatigue strength of the films. In order to study the effect of the pre-treatment of steel substrates by means of ion implantation on the actual performance of a-C films, the implanted substrates were investigated by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and nano-indentation, from which the composition depth profile as well as the hardness (H) and elastic modulus (E) depth profiles could be accurately obtained. As a result, due to higher contents of carbide bonds appeared at the outmost surface of the C and Ti+C implanted substrates, a critical load over 65 N was obtained, indicating good scratch resistance of the films. The combination of high interfacial strength and high plastic deformation resistance (H3/E2) of the Ti+C implanted substrates led to a higher load-carrying capacity and longer duration lifetime in the sliding wear test. In the dynamic impact test, the good adhesion strength and high toughness of C and Ti+C implanted substrates improved the impact resistance of the films. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Adhesion, Carbon, Ion implantation, Tribology

Citation Format(s)