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
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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited