Nanoindentation of Zr-based coatings synthesized using Magnetron Sputter Deposition

Project: Research

Project Details


Hard coatings are used in several industrial sectors including automobile, oil, power generation, utility, medical, aerospace, defense, etc for applications such as cutting and drilling tools, biomedical implants, gas turbine engines, household items, etc. Such coatings are generally based on carbides, nitrides and carbo-nitrides of transition metal elements. Examples include WC, TiN, CrN, ZrN, ZrCN etc. Zirconium based coatings possess good tribological and corrosion properties, but have not been widely studied compared to TiN based coatings. Further research to explore surface mechanical properties of Zr based coatings is essential to enhance its properties and expand its service potential. In the present study, we propose to develop single layer coatings based on Zr, ZrN and ZrCN constitution using magnetron sputter deposition technique and evaluate their surface morphology and structure using scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. Surface mechanical properties such nanoindentation hardness, modulus and creep will be measured using nanoindentation technique. Mechanical properties of a solid can be correlated to its tribological performance by recording the ratio of hardness to modulus (H/E). This ratio can be increased by increasing the thickness of coatings. On the other hand, internal stresses present within coating deposited using any PVD technique increase as the thickness of the coating is increased. It is of practical interest to investigate the effect of coatings thickness on its surface mechanical properties. This study will also allow us to study the dependence of hardness and modulus on the depth of penetration. In addition, similar to Ti based coatings where addition to C and N served to enhance coatings performance, it is of great technological interest to investigate the presence of C and N in Zr-based coatings. This study will also help improve applications of developed coatings for industries related to advanced electronics, oil & gas, and water desalination. This study is proposed to be completed at the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals within a period of 18 months at a total cost of 100,000 Saudi Riyals.
Effective start/end date15/04/1915/10/20


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