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Coatings 2017, 7(4), 50; doi:10.3390/coatings7040050

Studies on the Effect of Arc Current Mode and Substrate Rotation Configuration on the Structure and Corrosion Behavior of PVD TiN Coatings

1
School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne 3001, Australia
2
School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne 3001, Australia
3
Defence Materials Technology Centre, Melbourne 3122, Australia
4
Sutton Tools Pty Ltd., Melbourne 3074, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandro Lavacchi
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract

Thin, hard cathodic arc evaporated (CAE) metal nitride coatings are known to contain defects such as macro-particles, pinholes, voids and increased porosity, leading to reduced corrosion resistance. The focus of this research investigation was to compare the structure and corrosion behaviour of cathodic arc evaporated (CAE) TiN coatings deposited on AISI 1020 low carbon steel substrates using a pulsed current arc and a more conventional constant current arc source (DC). The effects of a double (2R) and triple (3R) substrate rotation configuration were also studied. Coating morphology and chemical composition were characterised using optical, SEM imaging and XRD analysis. Focus variation microscopy (FVM), an optical 3D measurement technique, was used to measure surface roughness. Corrosion studies were carried out using potentiodynamic scanning in 3.5% NaCl. Tafel extrapolation was carried out to determine Ecorr and Icorr values for the coated samples. In general, increased surface roughness, and to a certain extent, corrosion resistance, were associated with thicker coatings deposited using 2R, compared to 3R rotation configuration. The arc source mode (continuous or pulsed) was shown to have little effect on the corrosion behavior. Corrosion behavior was controlled by the presence of defects, pinholes and macro-particles at lower anodic potentials, while the formation of large pitted regions and aggressive corrosion of the underlying substrate was observed at higher anodic potentials. View Full-Text
Keywords: cathodic arc evaporation; pulsed arc current; metal nitride; characterisation; potentiodynamic scanning cathodic arc evaporation; pulsed arc current; metal nitride; characterisation; potentiodynamic scanning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ward, L.; Pilkington, A.; Dowey, S. Studies on the Effect of Arc Current Mode and Substrate Rotation Configuration on the Structure and Corrosion Behavior of PVD TiN Coatings. Coatings 2017, 7, 50.

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