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On the Importance of Combined Scratch/Acoustic Emission Test Evaluation: SiC and SiCN Thin Films Case Study

1
Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, Joint Laboratory of Optics of Palacky University and Institute of Physics of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Faculty of Science, Palacky University, 17. listopadu 12, 77146 Olomouc, Czech Republic
2
Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Joint Laboratory of Optics of Palacky University and Institute of Physics AS CR, 17. listopadu 50a, 772 07 Olomouc, Czech Republic
3
ZD Rpety—Dakel, Ohrobecká 408/3, 142 00 Prague, Czech Republic
4
Department of Material Analysis, Institute of Physics CAS, Na Slovance 2, 182 21 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8050196
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coatings Tribology)
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Abstract

The scratch test, as probably the most widespread technique for assessment of the adhesive/cohesive properties of a film–substrate system, fully depends on reliable evaluation based on assessment of critical loads for systems’ failures. Traditionally used evaluation methods (depth change record and visual observation) may sometimes give misleading conclusions about the failure dynamics, especially in the case of opaque films. Therefore, there is a need for another independent evaluation technique with the potential to complete the existing approaches. The nondestructive method of acoustic emission, which detects the elastic waves emitted during film cracking and delamination, can be regarded as a convenient candidate for such a role even at nano/micro scale. The strength of the combination of microscopic observation of the residual groove and depth change record with the acoustic emission detection system proved to be a robust and reliable approach in analyzing adhesion/cohesion properties of thin films. The dynamics of the gradual damage taking place during the nano/micro scratch test revealed by the combined approach is presented for SiC and SiCN thin films. Comparison of critical load values clearly reflects the higher ability of the AE approach in detecting the initial material failure compared to the visual observation. View Full-Text
Keywords: scratch test; acoustic emission; thin films; silicon carbide scratch test; acoustic emission; thin films; silicon carbide
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Tomastik, J.; Ctvrtlik, R.; Drab, M.; Manak, J. On the Importance of Combined Scratch/Acoustic Emission Test Evaluation: SiC and SiCN Thin Films Case Study. Coatings 2018, 8, 196.

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