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The effect of N, C, Cr, and Nb content on silicon nitride coatings for joint applications
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences.
(Thin Film Physics Division, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, 58183 Linköping, Sweden)
(Thin Film Physics Division, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, 58183 Linköping, Sweden)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences.
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Abstract [en]

Ceramic coatings are an alternative to achieve or maintain a high wear resistance of metallic surfaces, and simultaneously allow for a reduction in metal ion release. Silicon nitride based (SiNx) coatings deposited by high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) have shown potential for use in joint implants seen from an improved chemical stability in combination with a good adhesion. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of N, C, Cr and Nb content on the tribocorrosive performance of 3.7 to 8.8 µm thick SiNx coatings deposited by HiPIMS onto CoCrMo discs to improve  the mechanical properties and/or chemical stability of SiNx .

Coating composition was evaluated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and the surface roughness by Vertical Scanning Interferometry (VSI). Hardness and Young’s modulus were investigated by nanoindentation and coating adhesion was measured by scratch tests. Multidirectional wear tests against UHMWPE pins were performed for 2 million cycles in bovine serum solution (25%) at 37°C, at an estimated contact pressure of 2.1 MPa.

Coatings with a relatively low hardness tended to fail earlier in the wear test, due to chemical reactions and eventually dissolution, accelerated by the tribological contact. In fact, while no definite correlation could be observed between coating composition (N: 42.6-55.5 at%, C: 0-25.7 at%, Cr: 0 or 12.8 at%, and Nb: 0-24.5 at%) and wear performance, it was apparent that high-purity and/or -density coatings (i.e. low oxygen content and high nitrogen content) were desirable to prevent coating and/or counter surface wear. Coatings deposited with a higher energy fulfilled the target profile in terms of low surface roughness (Ra<20nm), adequate adhesion (Lc2>30N), chemical stability over time in the tribocorrosive environment, as well as low polymer wear, presenting potential for a future application in joint bearings.

Keywords [en]
silicon nitride, coating, joint replacement, wear, adhesion
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Materials Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396232DiVA, id: diva2:1367042
Projects
This research was funded by the European Union, grant number FP7-NMP-2012-310477 (Life Long Joints project); EBW+ Project Erasmus Mundus Programme, Action 2 – STRAND 1, Lot 9 (Latin America), Brazil, Grant number 2014-0982. H.H. acknowledges financial support from the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Advanced Functional Materials at Linköping University (Faculty Grant SFO Mat LiU No. 2009 00971).Available from: 2019-10-31 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31

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Filho, LuimarSkjöldebrand, CharlotteEngqvist, HåkanPersson, Cecilia

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