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(Ti, Al)N films on Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy produced by means of vacuum arc method

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Surface engineering methods are effective way to meet the increasing demands of industry. The needs of increasing efficiency and life time of the mechanical components lead to looking for a coatings which are resist to degradation in severe environments and endurance of extremely high thermomechanical loads [1]. In recent years, the development of several industrial branches was determined by the potential of surface engineering, especially of plasma deposition methods of thin coatings [2÷4]. (Ti, Al)N coating is an example of thin PVD coatings which are known for more then 10 years. Due to their high hardness, superior resistance to abrasive and chemical wear, (Ti, Al)N coatings considerably improve the life time of the cutting and drilling tools and allow to applied higher working velocities [5÷7]. Additionally, they exhibit excellent oxidation resistance, at temperatures higher than 850°C, due to dense alumina layer which is formed on the surface [8÷10]. (Ti, Al)N phase has B1-NaCl structure, the same as for TiN phase. Since Al atoms are smaller than Ti, substitution of Ti atoms with Al atoms results in gradually decreases of TiN lattice parameters [10] and appearance of the distortions and residual stresses in crystallographic structure [11]. The hardness of the (Ti, Al)N strongly depends on the aluminium content in the coating. The hardness and Young modulus increase, with increasing aluminium content in the film up to 60÷70%. However, beyond this value mechanical properties of the coating decreases due to formation of hexagonal wurtzite phase, which is typical for AlN. According to he authors of [12, 13], (Ti, Al)N film has B1-NaCl structure when the aluminium content is below 70%. One of the PVD technique which is used for deposition of (Ti, Al)N coatings is vacuum arc method. The main advantages of this method are: high level of ionizations of the target, presence of multiple ions, high kinetic energy of ions and high [...]

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