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Open AccessArticle

Influence of N2/Ar Flow Ratio on Microstructure and Properties of the AlCrSiN Coatings Deposited by High-Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering

National-Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing Oriented Automobile Die & Mould, Tianjin University of Technology and Education, Tianjin 300222, China
Tianjin Key Laboratory of High Speed Cutting and Precision Machining, Tianjin University of Technology and Education, Tianjin 300222, China
Global Frontier R&D Center for Hybrid Interface Materials, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
School of Materials Science and Technology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: James E. Krzanowski
Coatings 2018, 8(1), 3;
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Surface Coatings & Process (Selected Papers from HyMaP 2017))
PDF [5014 KB, uploaded 21 December 2017]


The cutting properties of tools can be greatly improved by AlCrSiN coatings. The AlCrSiN coatings with nitrogen content in the range of 28.2–56.3 at.% were prepared by varying the N2/Ar flow ratio from 1/4 to 1/1. The influence of N2/Ar flow ratio on composition, microstructure, and mechanical properties, as well as the tribological properties, of the coatings was investigated. With increasing N content, the coating microstructure gradually evolved from single fcc-(Cr,Al)N (200) phase to the mixture of fcc-(Cr,Al)N and hcp-(Cr,Al)N phase, which corresponds to an increased crystallinity within the coatings. The coating presents the highest hardness and best wear resistance for an N2/Ar flow ratio of 1/1, but the film adhesive strength and inner stress decreased obviously with increasing N2/Ar flow ratio, which was attributed to the rapid reduction of particle kinetic energy induced by the obstruction of neutral nitride particles between target and substrates. The highest H3/E*2 value exhibited the lowest wear rate, at 0.81 × 10−14 m3/(N·m), indicating that it had the best resistance to plastic deformation. The main wear mechanisms of the as-deposited coatings were abrasive wear and adhesive wear. The increasing crystallinity of the interior coatings resulted in higher hardness and better tribological behavior with an increase in N2/Ar flow ratio. View Full-Text
Keywords: HiPIMS; microstructure; mechanical properties; friction; wear HiPIMS; microstructure; mechanical properties; friction; wear

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Li, B.-S.; Wang, T.-G.; Ding, J.; Cai, Y.; Shi, J.; Zhang, X. Influence of N2/Ar Flow Ratio on Microstructure and Properties of the AlCrSiN Coatings Deposited by High-Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering. Coatings 2018, 8, 3.

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