Wear-resistant Ti-B-N nanocomposite coatings synthesized by reactive cathodic arc evaporation

Jörg Neidhardt, Zsolt Czigány, Bernhard Sartory, Richard Tessadri, Christian Mitterer

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Wear-resistant Ti-B-N coatings have been synthesized by reactive arc evaporation of Ti-TiB2 compound cathodes in a commercial Oerlikon Balzers Rapid Coating System. Owing to the strong non-equilibrium conditions of the deposition method, a TiN-TiBx phase mixture is observed at low N2 partial pressures, as determined by elastic recoil detection analysis, X-ray diffraction, X-ray spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and selected area electron diffraction. The indicated formation of a metastable solid solution of B in face-centered cubic TiN gives rise to a maximum in hardness (>40 GPa) and wear resistance on the expense of increased compressive stresses. A further saturation of the nitrogen content results in the formation of a TiN-BN nanocomposite, where the BN phase fraction was tailored by the target composition (Ti/B ratio of 5/3 and 5/1). However, the amorphous nature of the BN phase does not support self-lubricious properties, showing friction coefficients of 0.7 ± 0.1 against alumina. The effect of an increased bias voltage on structure and morphology was investigated from -20 to -140 V and the thermal stability assessed in Ar and air by simultaneous thermal analysis up to 1400 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Hard coatings
  • Nanocomposite
  • Reactive arc evaporation
  • TiBN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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