Gradient Cr(C,N) cathodic arc PVD coatings

Fuentes, G.G. and Díaz de Cerio, M.J. and García, J.A. and Martínez, R. and Bueno, R. and Rodríguez, R.J. and Rico, M. and Montalá, F. and Qin, Yi (2008) Gradient Cr(C,N) cathodic arc PVD coatings. Surface and Coatings Technology, 203 (5-7). pp. 670-674. ISSN 0257-8972 (

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This work reports on recent advances in Cathodic Arc Physical Vapor Deposition of low friction-coefficient coatings.. The study evaluates the mechanical and tribological performance of engineered Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coatings based on complementary carbon/nitrogen gradient concentrations through the film thickness. Traditional cathodic-arc-evaporated (Ti,Cr)N-based coatings show overall good mechanical performance, especially for cutting applications. However in forming applications, they still exhibit the undesirable effects of excessive material transfer (sticking), which arises from poor quality of the surface finish of the manufactured pieces. To overcome these pernicious effects, a set of cathodic arc PVD gradient Cr(C,N) coatings was produced. The coatings developed in this study exhibited friction coefficients of as low as 0.2-0.3 against 100Cr6 bearing steel, whilst having a similar mechanical strength to that of CrN. It is worthy of note that these values of the friction coefficients are achievable at industrial scale principally by the use of sputtering methods involving such as MoS2, or WC-C films. Metal adhesion during the sliding friction of CrCN coated tools on AISI316L were monitored using a pin-on-disc experimental set-up. Preliminary results demonstrated the low tendency of the deposited films to pick up material from the AISI316L steels surfaces, in comparison to that found when using standard CrN cathodic arc PVD films.


Fuentes, G.G., Díaz de Cerio, M.J., García, J.A., Martínez, R., Bueno, R., Rodríguez, R.J., Rico, M., Montalá, F. and Qin, Yi ORCID logoORCID:;