Damage phenomena of thin hard coatings submitted to repeated impacts: Influence of the substrate and film properties
Materials Science and Engineering A
To evaluate the surface fatigue resistance of some thin nitride films obtained by Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) techniques, repeated impact tests have been performed under controlled impact conditions. Short and long duration tests have revealed the occurrence of an original damage phenomenon likely linked to a mechanical blistering of the films. As these blisters appear to be the first damage step, their formation has to be understood in order to be avoided in industrial applications. In particular, the role of the mechanical properties of the substrate has to be clarified as thin protective coatings may be used on pieces prepared using various heat treatments. finite element method (FEM) analysis has been conducted in order to better understand the specific mechanical conditions in the substrate and at the film–substrate interface that could lead to such blistering phenomena. Correlations with the experimental results have been evidenced. From the modelling results the substrate properties have been shown to be of significant influence on the blister formation. However as they do not fully explain the origin of this phenomenon, the influence of the substrate microstructure has also been studied and the presence of vanadium carbides appears to be of major effect.