Influence of Si- and W- doping on micro-scale reciprocating wear and impact performance of DLC coatings on hardened steel

Ben D. Beake, Sam McMaster, Tomasz W. Liskiewicz, Anne Neville

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    30 Citations (Scopus)
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    Reciprocating micro-scale sliding tests and micro-scale repetitive impact tests were performed with diamond probes on un-doped, Si-doped and W-doped diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings on hardened steel with a nanomechanical test instrument. Analytical modelling showed that differences in coating behaviour during sliding contact could be interpreted by differences in the stress distribution that develops. The softer W-doped DLC exhibited the lowest wear resistance in reciprocating sliding. The deformation in the wear track under the test conditions (R = 25 µm, P ≤ 500 mN, total sliding distance = 1 m) was largely controlled by plastic deformation and hence hardness, since micro-scale fatigue wear was only a small contributor. The relationship between friction and wear was more complex, due to the changing influence of surface topography, asperity ploughing and wear with increasing reciprocating sliding cycles. The Si-doped DLC showed the lowest resistance to repetitive impact. The hardest and highest H3/E2 coating, un-doped DLC, was also susceptible to fracture throughout the load range. Although the W-doped DLC was the softest coating studied and had low wear resistance in reciprocating sliding, it was significantly more damage tolerant to repetitive impacting than the other coatings despite its low hardness and low wear resistance in reciprocating tests.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107063
    Number of pages14
    JournalTribology International
    Issue number107063
    Early online date25 Apr 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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    This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


    This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Grant No. ELP01629X and Micro Materials Ltd. as part of the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Integrated Tribology (iT-CDT).


    • Diamond-like carbon
    • Impact
    • Micro-/nano-scale friction
    • Ploughing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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