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Extreme friction reductions during inital running-in of W-S-C-Ti low-friction coatings
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (Ångströms Tribomaterialgrupp)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Inorganic Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (Tribomaterial)
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2013 (English)In: Wear, ISSN 0043-1648, E-ISSN 1873-2577, Vol. 302, no 1-2 SI, 987-997 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The disulphides of tungsten and molybdenum are known for their low friction properties when used as solid lubricants. Due to their low hardness, their load bearing capacity when used as thin films is poor. When carbon is added to a WS2 coating, both of these shortcomings are improved, and a structure consisting of nanocrystals of WS2, and possibly tungsten carbide, in a matrix of amorphous carbon is formed. In this study, an attempt is made for further increasing the hardness of such coatings, by addition of Ti, a strong carbide former. A number of W–S–C(–Ti) coatings were deposited using magnetron co-sputtering, and characterised with regard to chemical composition, structure and tribological properties. It was seen that addition of Ti significantly increased the hardness of the coatings, while maintaining their excellent low friction properties in dry atmosphere. However, the coatings with Ti showed extremely high initial friction, a feature not seen for the coatings without Ti. The mechanisms behind this running-in behaviour were investigated by studying surfaces at early stages of wear. It was observed that tribofilms formed during sliding for the coatings containing Ti consisted mainly of TiO2, with platelets of WS2 appearing in the contact only after prolonged sliding. For the pure W–S–C coatings, WS2 was observed in the sliding interface almost instantly at the onset of sliding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 302, no 1-2 SI, 987-997 p.
National Category
Nano Technology Tribology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Tribo Materials; Engineering Science with specialization in Materials Science; Engineering Science with specialization in Electronics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191211DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2013.01.065ISI: 000322682800018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191211DiVA: diva2:585056
Conference
19th International Conference on Wear of Materials 2013; 14-18 April 2013; Portland, OR, USA
Funder
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Triboactive Component Coatings: Tribological Testing and Microanalysis of Low-Friction Tribofilms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Triboactive Component Coatings: Tribological Testing and Microanalysis of Low-Friction Tribofilms
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coatings are often used on critical components in machines and engines to reduce wear and to provide low friction in order to reduce energy losses and the environmental impact.

A triboactive coating not only provides this desired performance, it also actively maintains the low friction by a structural or chemical change in a very thin top layer of these already micrometer thin coatings. This so-called tribofilm is often 5-50 nm thick and can be formed either from the coating itself or by a reaction with the counter surface or the surrounding atmosphere, i.e. gas, fuel, oil, etc. The tribofilm will maintain the wanted performance for as long as the system is not chemically disturbed.

This thesis provides a detailed overview of the functionality of triboactive low-friction coatings, in many different systems. The majority of the tribofilms discussed, formed in very different environments, are built up by tungsten disulfide (WS2), which is a material similar to graphite, with a lamellar structure where strongly bonded atomic planes may slip over each other almost without resistance. The major difference is that WS2 is an intrinsically triboactive material, while graphite is not. However, graphite and other carbon-based materials can be made triboactive in certain atmospheres or by addition of other elements, such as hydrogen.

The remarkable affinity and driving force to form such WS2 low-friction tribofilms, regardless of the initial states of the sulfur and tungsten, and even when the forming elements are present only at ppm levels, is a recurrent observation in the thesis.

Addition of an alloying element to sputtered coatings of WS2 can improve its mechanical and frictional properties significantly. Several promising attempts have been made to find good candidates, out of which a few important ones are investigated in this thesis. Their achievable potential in friction reductions is demonstrated.

By reducing friction, energy losses can be avoided, which also results in lower particle and exhaust emissions, which directly reduces the environmental impact. Triboactive coatings are shown to be a promising route to significantly improve tribological applications and allow more environmental friendly and energy efficient vehicles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 98 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1011
Keyword
tribofilms, low-friction coatings, tungsten disulfide, TEM
National Category
Materials Engineering Nano Technology
Research subject
Materials Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191223 (URN)978-91-554-8576-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-02-22, Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research
Available from: 2013-02-01 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved
2. Sputtering and Characterization of Complex Multi-element Coatings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sputtering and Characterization of Complex Multi-element Coatings
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thin film technology is of great importance in modern society and is a key technology in wide spread applications from electronics and solar cells to hard protective coatings on cutting tools and diffusion barriers in food packaging. This thesis deals with various aspects of thin film processing and the aim of the work is twofold; firstly, to obtain a fundamental understanding of the sputter deposition and the reactive sputter deposition processes, and secondly, to evaluate sputter deposition of specific material systems with low friction properties and to improve their performance.From studies of the reactive sputtering process, two new methods of eliminating the problematic and undesirable hysteresis effect were found. In the first method it was demonstrated that an increased process pressure caused a reduction and, in some cases, even elimination of the hysteresis. In the second method it was shown that sufficiently high oxide content in the target will eliminate the hysteresis.

Further studies of non-reactive magnetron sputtering of multi-element targets at different pressures resulted in huge pressure dependent compositional gradients over the chamber due to different gas phase scattering of the elements. This has been qualitatively known for a long time but the results presented here now enable a quantitative estimation of such effects. For example, by taking gas phase scattering into consideration during sputtering from a WS2 target it was possible to deposit WSx films with a sulphur content going from sub-stoichiometric to over-stoichiometric composition depending on the substrate position relative the target.

By alloying tungsten disulphide (WS2) with carbon and titanium (W-S-C-Ti) its hardness was significantly increased due to the formation of a new titanium carbide phase (TiCxSy). The best sample increased its hardness to 18 GPa (compared to 4 GPa for the corresponding W-S-C coating) while still maintaining a low friction (µ=0.02) due to the formation of easily sheared WS2 planes in the wear track. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 74 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1162
Keyword
thin film, coating, magnetron sputtering, modelling, tribofilm, tungsten disulphide
National Category
Other Physics Topics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229207 (URN)978-91-554-8997-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Polhemsalen, Ångströmslaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , 30003
Available from: 2014-09-02 Created: 2014-08-05 Last updated: 2014-09-08
3. Triboactive Low-Friction Coatings Based on Sulfides and Carbides
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Triboactive Low-Friction Coatings Based on Sulfides and Carbides
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For sustainable development, it is highly important to limit the loss of energy and materials in machines used for transportation, manufacturing, and other purposes. Large improvements can be achieved by reducing friction and wear in machine elements, for example by the application of coatings. This work is focused on triboactive coatings, for which the outermost layer changes in tribological contacts to form so-called tribofilms. The coatings are deposited by magnetron sputtering (a physical vapor deposition method) and thoroughly chemically and structurally characterized, often theoretically modelled, and tribologically evaluated, to study the connection between the composition, structure and tribological performance of the coatings.

Tungsten disulfide, WS2, is a layered material with the possibility of ultra-low friction. This work presents a number of nanocomposite or amorphous coatings based on WS2, which combine the low friction with improved mechanical properties. Addition of N can give amorphous coatings consisting of a network of W, S and N with N2 molecules in nanometer-sized pockets, or lead to the formation of a metastable cubic tungsten nitride. Co-deposition with C can also give amorphous coatings, or nanocomposites with WSx grains in an amorphous C-based matrix. Further increase in coating hardness is achieved by adding both C and Ti, forming titanium carbide. All the WS2-based materials can provide very low friction (down to µ<0.02) by the formation of WS2 tribofilms, but the performance is dependent on the atmosphere as O2 and H2O can be detrimental to the tribofilm functionality.

Another possibility is to form low-friction tribofilms by tribochemical reactions between the two surfaces in contact. Addition of S to TiC/a-C nanocomposite coatings leads to the formation of a metastable S-doped carbide phase, TiCxSy, from which S can be released. This enables the formation of low-friction WS2 tribofilms when a Ti-C-S coating is run against a W counter-surface. Reduced friction, at a moderate level, also occurs for steel counter-surfaces, likely due to formation of beneficial iron sulfide tribofilms.

The studied coatings, whether based on WS2 or TiC, are thus triboactive, with the ability to form low-friction tribofilms in a sliding contact.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 86 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1183
Keyword
coatings, thin films, tribology, tungsten disulfide, transition metal dichalcogenide, nanocomposite, TiC/a-C, tribofilms, PVD, XPS, HAXPES, XRD, SEM, TEM, Raman spectroscopy, nanoindentation
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
Research subject
Chemistry with specialization in Inorganic Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230989 (URN)978-91-554-9041-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-31, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2015-01-23Bibliographically approved
4. Formation and Function of Low-Friction Tribofilms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Formation and Function of Low-Friction Tribofilms
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The use of low-friction coatings on machine elements is steadily increasing, and they are expected to play an important role in the reduction of fuel consumption of future motorized vehicles. Many low-friction coatings function by transformation of the outermost coating layer into tribofilms, which then cover the coating surface and its counter surface. It is within these tribofilms that sliding takes place, and their properties largely determine the performance. The role of the coating is then not to provide low friction, but to supply support and constituents for the tribofilm.

In this thesis, the formation of such tribofilms has been studied for a number of different low-friction coatings. The sensitivity of the tribofilm formation towards changes in the tribological system, such as increased surface roughness, varied surrounding atmosphere and reduced availability of the tribofilm constituents has been given special attention.

For TaC/aC coatings, the formation of a functioning tribofilm was found to be a multi-step process, where wear fragments are formed, agglomerated, compacted and eventually stabilized into a dense film of fine grains. This formation is delayed by a moderate roughening of the coated surface.

Coatings based on tungsten disulphide (WS2) are often able to provide exceptionally low friction, but their use is restricted by their poor mechanical properties and sensitivity to humidity. Large improvements in the mechanical properties can be achieved by addition of for example carbon, but the achievable hardness is still limited. When titanium was added to W-S-C coatings, a carbidic hard phase was formed, causing drastically increased hardness, with retained low friction. Titanium oxides in the tribofilms however caused the friction to be high initially and unstable in the long term. In a study of W-S-N coatings, the effects of humidity and oxygen were studied separately, and it was found that the detrimental role of oxygen is larger than often assumed.

Low friction tribofilms may form by rearrangement of coating material, but also by tribochemical reactions between constituents of the coating and its counter surface. This was observed for Ti-C-S coatings, which formed WS2 tribofilms when sliding against tungsten counter surfaces, leading to dramatic friction reductions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 76 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1187
Keyword
tribology, tribofilm, PVD, coating, low-friction, tungsten disulphide, transition metal dichalcogenide, tribochemistry
National Category
Tribology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Tribo Materials
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-233712 (URN)978-91-554-9065-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-28, Polhemsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-05 Created: 2014-10-08 Last updated: 2015-01-23

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Nyberg, HaraldSundberg, JillSärhammar, ErikGustavsson, FredrikKubart, TomasNyberg, TomasJacobson, Staffan

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