To clarify the friction durability, both during and after the high-temperature heating of nanometer-thick diamond-like carbon (DLC) films, deposited using filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) and plasma chemical vapor deposition (P-CVD) methods, the dependence of the friction coefficient on the load and sliding cycles of the DLC films, were evaluated. Cluster-I consisted of a low friction area in which the DLC film was effective, while cluster-II consisted of a high friction area in which the lubricating effect of the DLC film was lost. The friction durability of the films was evaluated by statistical cluster analysis. Extremely thin FCVA-DLC films exhibited an excellent wear resistance at room temperature, but their friction durability was decreased at high temperatures. In contrast, the durability of the P-CVD-DLC films was increased at high temperatures when compared with that observed at room temperature. This inverse dependence on temperature corresponded to the nano-friction results obtained by atomic force microscopy. The decrease in the friction durability of the FCVA-DLC films at high temperatures, was caused by a complex effect of temperature and friction. The tribochemical reaction produced by the P-CVD-DLC films reduced their friction coefficient, increasing their durability at high temperatures.
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