Bulk NiTi is used to make parts, such as couplings and bearings, that can be found in many industries such as the automotive, aerospace and medical sectors. Forming and machining bulk superelastic NiTi is a very difficult and costly process; however, applying NiTi as a surface coating will provide an alternate manufacturing method that will minimize machining processes. The objective of this study is to produce a superelastic NiTi-based surface coating that exhibits denting, impact and wear resistance. Superelastic NiTi has been successfully produced through vacuum deposition processes, despite this, there is a lack of a full and comprehensive study on the formation of the NiTi phase during coating development. In this study, the NiTi phase is fabricated through the annealing of sputtered deposited Ti and Ni layers in a coating. To confirm the presence of the intermetallic phases, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) analysis were performed. The erosion behavior of the coating is evaluated through single particle erosion testing, which resulted in the coatings that contained the NiTi precipitates to exhibit the best damage resistance compared to the other nanolaminates. This indicates that the superelastic NiTi phase increases the resistance to impacting particles. Microstructural evolution and NiTi formation during annealing is discussed and related to the observed damage resistance of the coatings.
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