The high potential of the protective coatings for metal machining applications using the physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes is one to be valued, and will accelerate development of the multicomponent coating design and increase the cutting efficiency. In this study, nanostructured AlTiCrMoN coatings in a multilayered structure were fabricated using cathodic-arc deposition (CAD). Controlling the cathode current of both CrMo and AlTi alloy targets in a nitrogen environment, multilayered AlTiN/CrMoN coatings were deposited. The AlTiN and AlTiN/CrMoN multilayered coatings exhibit a face-centered cubic (fcc) structure with columnar morphologies. The highest hardness of 35.6 ± 1.5 GPa was obtained for the AlTiN coating; however, the H3
and H/E* values were the lowest (0.124 and 0.059, respectively). The multilayered AlTiN/CrMoN coatings possessed higher H3
and H/E* values of up to 0.157 and 0.071, respectively. The present study investigated the cutting performance of end mills in the milling of SUS316L stainless steel. The cutting performance was evaluated in terms of cutting length and tool wear. Because of high resistance to adhesive and abrasive wear, the end mills coated with multilayered AlTiN/CrMoN showed less flank wear than monolithic AlTiN. The introduction of CrMoN sublayers improved the cutting tool life of AlTiN.
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