Abstract: We review results of recent combined theoretical and experimental studies of Ti1−xAlxN, an archetypical alloy system material for hard-coating applications. Theoretical simulations of lattice parameters, mixing enthalpies, and elastic properties are presented. Calculated phase diagrams at ambient pressure, as well as at pressure of 10 GPa, show a wide miscibility gap and broad region of compositions and temperatures where the spinodal decomposition takes place. The strong dependence of the elastic properties and sound wave anisotropy on the Al-content offers detailed understanding of the spinodal decomposition and age hardening in Ti1−xAlxN alloy films and multilayers. TiAlN/TiN multilayers can further improve the hardness and thermal stability compared to TiAlN since they offer means to influence the kinetics of the favorable spinodal decomposition and suppress the detrimental transformation to w-AlN. Here, we show that a 100 degree improvement in terms of w-AlN suppression can be achieved, which is of importance when the coating is used as a protective coating on metal cutting inserts.
Keywords: hard coatings; spinodal decomposition; ab initio calculations; thermodynamics; multilayer; TiN
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Abrikosov, I.A.; Knutsson, A.; Alling, B.; Tasnádi, F.; Lind, H.; Hultman, L.; Odén, M. Phase Stability and Elasticity of TiAlN. Materials 2011, 4, 1599-1618.
Abrikosov IA, Knutsson A, Alling B, Tasnádi F, Lind H, Hultman L, Odén M. Phase Stability and Elasticity of TiAlN. Materials. 2011; 4(9):1599-1618.
Abrikosov, Igor A.; Knutsson, Axel; Alling, Björn; Tasnádi, Ferenc; Lind, Hans; Hultman, Lars; Odén, Magnus. 2011. "Phase Stability and Elasticity of TiAlN." Materials 4, no. 9: 1599-1618.