You are on page 1of 12

Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Tribology International
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/triboint

The effects of AlCrN coating, surface modication


and their combination on the tribological properties
of high speed steel under dry conditions
InSik Cho a, Auezhan Amanov b,c,n, JongDeok Kim d
a
Department of Hybrid Engineering, Sun Moon University, Asan 336708, South Korea
b
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo 1258585, Japan
c
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sun Moon University, Asan 336708, South Korea
d
Molds & Dies Technology R&D Group, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, Incheon 406840, South Korea

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: In this study, the effects of a combination of ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modication (UNSM)
Received 15 April 2014 technique and AlCrN coating on the tribological properties of high speed steel (HSS) were investigated.
Received in revised form The AlCrN coating with a thickness of about 3 mm was deposited by the physical vapor deposition (PVD)
27 June 2014
technique onto the polished and UNSM-treated HSS specimens. The tribological and scratch tests results
Accepted 3 August 2014
Available online 11 August 2014
revealed that the AlCrN coating deposited onto the UNSM-treated specimen showed better tribological
properties compared to that of the AlCrN coating deposited onto the polished specimen, which may be
Keywords: attributed to the modied surface beneath the AlCrN coating. Hence, it is expected that the results of this
High speed steel study can be applied to reduce the wear of ne blanking punches.
AlCrN coating
& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Surface modication
Tribology

1. Introduction When worn tools are used, the tool surface directly affects the
quality of products and causes some surface defects. Generally, a
For modern industrial production, in particular mass produc- blanking tool should produce several millions parts during the
tion, machining is one of the most important shaping and forming lifetime of a tool material, which is evaluated by wear. Therefore, it
process. Almost all tools employed for this purpose are made of is very important to enhance the resistance to wear of materials
high speed steels (HSSs). In recent times, the use of HSSs has also for FBPs.
gained increasing importance for chipless shaping, e.g. for extru- In many engineering applications, such as internal combustion
sion, blanking, molding and punching tools due to their excellent engines (ICEs), cutting tools, hard disk drives, etc. thin coatings
properties such as high working hardness, high wear resistance, have been widely used to enhance the resistance to wear and
excellent toughness and high retention of hardness and red improve the performance of mechanical components. The applica-
hardness. The expanding use of HSSs in ne blanking punches tion of thin coatings on a metal substrate is also a typical method
(FBPs) has brought out a new challenge tool resistance and to improve the tribological properties of mechanical components
lifetime is not satisfactory any more. In the FBP process, the wear during sliding, rolling and impacting. A large volume of studies can
of punch occurs due to the cycled contact of counter surfaces. be found in the literature on the various coatings such as AlCrN,
Therefore, the punch is exposed to high stress and requires TiAlN, TiAlCrN and TiAlVN deposited onto metallic materials by
excellent resistance to wear. The result of wear is not only physical vapor deposition (PVD) may enhance the resistance to
damaged tools, but also the tolerance of the blanked parts is wear and reduce the friction coefcient of components [47]. In
increased. It has been reported earlier that the FBP materials have particular, the AlCrN coatings have been used widely in the
a direct inuence on wear resistance and tool endurance [13]. industry due to high resistance to wear, low friction surface and
adhesion between tool and working piece [810]. Col et al. [5]
n
have studied the wear and blanking performance of AlCrN-coated
Corresponding author at: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo University of
punches and compared to those of the uncoated punching tools. It
Science, Tokyo 1258585, Japan.
Tel./fax: 82 41 530 2894. was found that the wear of punch can be reduced by AlCrN
E-mail address: amanov@rs.tus.ac.jp (A. Amanov). coating. They have also reported that fracture on the punch cutting

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.triboint.2014.08.003
0301-679X/& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
62 I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

edge was observed after the blanking tests, where the delamina- 2. Experimental details
tion of AlCrN coating was occurred. In this regards, it is believed
that the mechanical properties and surface structure of the 2.1. Specimen preparation
substrate have a signicant effect on the friction and wear
behavior and adhesion property of AlCrN coatings. In this study, a series of HSS specimens with dimensions of
It has been well known that surface modication techniques 25 mm in diameter and 7.9 mm in thickness were used as a
can be used to further improve the mechanical and tribological substrate. Some of them were subjected to the UNSM technique
properties of materials. Numerous surface modication techniques before AlCrN coating deposition. Some mechanical properties of
have been subjected in various industries [11,12]. Recently, a the polished, the UNSM-treated and the counter surface ball
straightforward surface modication technique called ultrasonic specimens are shown in Table 1. Afterwards, the specimens i.e.
nanocrystalline surface modication (UNSM) technique was devel- polished and UNSM-treated, were coated with a thin wear resis-
oped. It has been demonstrated among the different surface tant AlCrN coating deposited by PVD cathodic arc using a system
modication techniques that this technique is an effective and bias and cathodic arc evaporation. For the deposition of the PVD
economical method to produce a nanocrystalline surface layer at coating, a target of Al70Cr30 (in at %) alloy with size of
the top surface of materials without changing the chemical 280  8  8 mm3 was set in a controlled nitrogen atmosphere.
composition. The UNSM technique does not only improve the The chamber was evacuated to about 10  3 Pa. High purity
mechanical and tribological properties of various metallic materi- (99.999%) nitrogen was used at a N2 pressure of 1 Pa and at a bias
als, but also produces a corrugated surface having numerous of voltage of  100 V. The deposition time was adjusted to obtain a
desired dimples/indents on the treated surface. More details of the layer with a thickness of about 3 mm. A combination of UNSM
UNSM technique including the effectiveness on the mechanical technique and AlCrN coating deposition processes onto the HSS
and tribological properties of materials can be found in our substrate is shown in Fig. 1.
previous studies [1214]. Hence, it is expected that the modied In principle, in this study, the UNSM technique produced a
surface of HSS substrate may be benecial for improving the nanocrystalline surface layer at the top surface of HSS specimen by
strength, tribological properties and adhesion of AlCrN coatings. striking the surface up to 20,000 times per second with a WC tip
To our best knowledge, the published works pertaining to duplex with a diameter of 2.38 mm, which was attached to an ultrasonic
system (surface modication coating) tribology is quite limited. horn. Each specimen was installed into a magnetic board on a
The main objective of this study is to investigate the tribological exible manufacturing system carrier, which is reciprocally moved
and adhesion properties of AlCrN coating deposited onto the at a speed of 3000 mm/min. The UNSM treatment input para-
polished and UNSM-treated substrates. It is expected from this meters to treat the specimens are shown in Table 2. These input
study that understanding such properties of HSSs would be an parameters can control the surface properties, nanocrystalline
essential factor in developing of FBPs with high durability and surface layer thickness, grain size and corrugated surface wave-
reliability. In this study, four different HSS specimens, namely, the length. Prior to UNSM treatment, the specimens were cleaned in
polished, UNSM-treated, over-coated polished and over-coated ethanol and deionized water for 10 min each using an ultrasonic
UNSM-treated specimens were used. bath to remove the impurities and particles from the surface.

2.2. Tribological and micro-scratch tests


Table 1
Some mechanical properties of the polished, UNSM-treated and the counter surface A series of tribological tests were performed using a commer-
ball specimens. cial schwingung reibung verschleiss (SRV4, Germany) reciprocat-
ing ball-on-disk tribometer at a temperature of 25 1C and a relative
Material Young's modulus, Hardness Poisson's
humidity of  60% under dry sliding conditions. The HSS speci-
GPa ratio
mens were slid reciprocally against a SAE 52100 bearing steel ball
Counter surface SUJ2 207 63 HRC 0.32 with a diameter of 10 mm. All of the tribological tests were carried
ball out in the range of normal loads from 20 N to 200 N, a frequency of
Polished disk HSS 197 740 HV 0.28
20 Hz with a stroke of 1 mm for 60 min. The long-term tribological
UNSM-treated HSS 242 960 HV 0.28
disk tests were lasted for 3 h at a normal load of 400 N in order to
assess the durability of AlCrN coating deposited onto the polished

Fig. 1. Schematic representation showing the surface treatment procedure on an HSS substrate: polished (a), UNSM-treated (b), over-coated polished (c) and over-coated
UNSM-treated (d) specimens.
I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172 63

and UNSM-treated specimens. During this long-term tests, the a prescribed 50 N over a scratch distance of 2 mm at a speed of
temperature of the test chamber was measured using a non- 4 mm/min. Scratch-induced damage during the scratching process is
contact temperature sensor. All the tribological tests were monitored by normal load and friction force measurement. All the
repeated three times and the average values were reported in specimens were subjected to three micro-scratches in order to ensure
this study. reproducibility of the micro-scratch tests results. The micro-scratch
Adhesion is an important parameter for AlCrN coatings because and tribological tests can be satisfactory used for measuring the
after detachment of thin coatings from the materials surface it does durability of AlCrN coating deposited onto the polished and UNSM-
not serve its purpose and could cause additional damage to substrate. treated specimens.
Micro-scratch tests were performed using a Rhesca TB-01 micro-
scratch tester equipped with a conical diamond tip in order to
assess the resistance to scratch of the specimens. During the single 2.3. Surface characterization
stroke micro-scratch test, the load was applied incrementally up to
The surface morphology and wear track that formed on the
Table 2
surface of the specimens after tribological and scratch tests were
UNSM treatment parameters. investigated using a eld emission scanning electron microscope
(FE-SEM; SUPRA 40 ZEISS, Germany). Chemical composition of the
Parameters Values specimens before and after tribological tests was investigated
using an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS; Rntec
Frequency, kHz 20
Amplitude, mm 30 QuanTax QX1, Germany) system installed in a FE-SEM. The surface
Horn speed, mm/min 3000 roughness of the specimens was obtained using an atomic force
Impact load, N 20 microscope (AFM; Seiko SPA400, Japan). Two locations on each
Interval, mm 0.07 specimen were randomly selected and scanned at the nano-scale.
Tip (ball) diameter, mm 2.38
Number of impacts per square 22578
AFM imaging of the specimens was conducted using a Seiko
SPA400 with a Si3N4 tip with a radius of 20 nm in contact mode.

Fig. 2. 3D AFM images including the average surface roughness values of the polished (a), UNSM-treated (b), over-coated polished (c) and over-coated UNSM-treated (d) HSS
specimens.
64 I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

The tip had a nominal spring constant of 41 N/m and a resonance the scan area of 100 mm  100 mm are also shown in Fig. 2. It is
frequency of 336 kHz. The scan rate was set to be approximately of evident that the average surface roughness (Ra) of the polished
0.42 Hz. The cross-sectional proles of the wear tracks were specimens reduced after UNSM treatment from 0.09 mm to 0.07 mm,
measured at three different points using a two-dimensional (2D) while both over-coated specimens had similar average surface
surface prolometer (Surfcom 1500 SD3, Accretech, Japan) to roughness of 0.08 mm.
quantify the wear volume. An Image Plus software developed by Fig. 3 shows the cross-sectional SEM images of the polished,
CSM Instruments (Switzerland) was used to obtain the cross- UNSM-treated, over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-
sectional proles from the shallow wear tracks. The specic wear treated specimens. Fig. 3(a) shows the cross-sectional SEM
rate and the corresponding standard deviation were quantied as images of the polished specimen with a chemical composition
the ratio of wear volume loss over the normal load multiplied by of 51.94% Fe, 23.21% W, 11.99% V, 7.02% S and 5.83% Cr in wt%. It
total reciprocating sliding distance. can be seen from Fig. 3(b) that a modied surface layer with a
thickness of about 4 mm was produced at the top surface layer by
the UNSM technique. The dashed line represents the plastically
3. Results and discussion deformed surface layer and the interface between the nano- and
coarse-grained structures. Hence, it is believed that the coarse
3.1. Microstructural evolution and hardness grains of the polished specimen reduced into several of nan-
ometers due to the repeatedly high-frequency strikes of a WC
Fig. 2 shows the typical 3D AFM images of the polished, UNSM- tip. The properties of the modied layer can be controlled by
treated, over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated speci- UNSM treatment parameters such as impact load, vibrating
mens. It is evident that the signicant microstructural alteration was amplitude, striking ball diameter, feed rate and the nature of
observed on the surface of the UNSM-treated and over-coated the specimen materials. It has been reported earlier in our
specimens. The strikes of a WC tip deformed the peaks during the previous studies that the mechanical and tribological properties
UNSM treatment resulting in the formation of a much dense of metallic materials were improved, which may be attributed to
morphology compared to that of the polished specimen and also the effects of UNSM technique such as increased hardness,
the UNSM treatment feed-rate paths are visible as shown in Fig. 2(b). rened grains, induced compressive residual stress, micro-
The polished specimen consists of an irregular structure with dimples etc. [1214]. Fig. 3(c and d) shows the over-coated
abrasive grooves, while the UNSM-treated specimen is relatively AlCrN coating on the untreated and UNSM-treated specimens
smooth with a regular corrugated surface structure. It can be also with a thickness of about 3 mm and a chemical composition of
seen from Fig. 2(c and d) that no signicant difference was observed 34.84% Al, 35.21% Cr and 29.95% N in wt%. The existence of a
between the over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated modied surface layer with a thickness of about 4 mm beneath
specimens except a small waviness on the over-coated UNSM-treated the AlCrN coating can be seen in Fig. 3(d) as well.
specimen. Also, it is apparent that both over-coated specimens had The Vickers hardness measurement of the specimens was
pores with an average diameter of 23 mm on the surface. The performed using the Vickers hardness tester (Akashi Corp.
average surface roughness (Ra) values measured using an AFM over AAV-4M, Japan) with a diamond pyramid Vickers indenter at

UNSM -treated layer

Non-affected zone

HSS substrate HSS substrate

UNSM-treated layer
AlCrN coating
AlCrN coating

Non-affected zone

HSS substrate HSS substrate

Fig. 3. Cross-sectional SEM images of the polished (a), UNSM-treated (b) over-coated polished (c) and over-coated UNSM-treated (d) HSS specimens. The dashed lines
represent the modied surface layer after the UNSM technique.
I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172 65

Fig. 4. Comparison of hardness for the polished, UNSM-treated, over-coated


polished and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens.

a load of 3 N (300 gf) and constant indenter dwell time of 30 s.


All the indentation tests were carried out under ambient
laboratory conditions. A material hardness is an important
factor since it represents the ability of the material to resist
indentation. In general, it is widely accepted that wear resis-
tance of materials increases with increasing hardness. Fig. 4
shows the comparison of the hardness values for the speci-
mens. It was revealed that the hardness of the polished and
UNSM-treated specimens were about 740 HV and 960 HV,
respectively. Both over-coated specimens showed almost the
same hardness value of about 2800 HV, which can be explained
that the diamond pyramid Vickers indenter did not reach the
HSS substrate. The maximum penetration depth that was
measured by AFM was found to be about 0.22 mm. It is well Fig. 5. Variation in friction force of the polished and UNSM-treated (a) and over-
established that hardness measurements on coatings must be coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated (b) specimens as a function of
performed at a maximum depth of between 10% and 15% of scratch length of 2 mm.

total coating thickness in order to avoid further contribution of


the substrate beneath. The results of microhardness tests earlier that the corrugated surface structure produced by the
showed that the top surface layer of the UNSM-treated speci- UNSM technique was benecial for reducing the friction coef-
men was harder than that of the untreated specimen by about cient of Cu alloy [18]. It is also worth mentioning that the friction
23%. The increase in hardness due to UNSM treatment can be coefcient of the polished and over-coated polished specimens
attributed to both grain renement and work-hardening was very high at the onset of scratching which may be attributed
effects on the surface layer following the Hall-Petch relation- to the initial contact point of the tip and the specimens.
ship [1517]. When the load reached a certain critical level, the thin coating
started fracturing and delaminating from the substrate, since at
3.2. Scratch behavior higher load on the indenter having large tip radius, the depth of
the mechanical stress distribution in the specimens exceeded the
Scratches on a surface may be considered as a form of surface coating thickness. This process reected in abrupt increases in
damage caused by wear that occur due to severe frictional friction coefcient. The types of the failure which are often
interaction against a counter surface. In general, a scratch test is observed in the scratch test depend critically on the properties
suitable for thin coatings of thickness ranging from 0.1 to 20 mm. of substrate and thin coating. The critical load required to cause
Fig. 5 shows the variation in friction force with respect to scratch the rst delamination at the edge of the scratch track (adhesive
length for the specimens. It is obvious from Fig. 5 that the friction failure) characterizes the adhesion properties of thin coatings. In
force of the overall specimens increased linearly with increasing this study, delamination was observed at the onset of scratch for
normal load. However, the UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM- both over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated speci-
treated specimens exhibited a little bit lower friction force mens at a maximum incremental normal load of 50 N. This
compared to those of the polished and over-coated polished means that the main stress eld generated (up to a maximum
specimens, respectively. The friction coefcient values of the contact pressure) is not restricted to the AlCrN coating and
specimens, which were quantied as the ratio of friction force to exceeded the yield limit of the HSS substrate. The scratch wear
incremental normal load, were about  0.80,  0.74,  0.77 and groove observation plays an important role in better under-
0.69 for the polished, UNSM-treated, over-coated polished and standing of elasto-plastic deformation behavior and the effec-
over-coated UNSM-treated specimens, respectively, as shown in tiveness of UNSM technique on the resistance to scratch. Fig. 7
Fig. 6. Moreover, unlike the friction force behavior of the polished shows the FE-SEM images of the scratch grooves for the speci-
and over-coated polished specimens, the friction force behavior of mens. It can be seen from Fig. 7 that the scratch grooves of the
the UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens specimens became broader and deeper with increasing normal
slightly uctuated, which may be attributed to the corrugated load. Also, it is obvious that the scratch grooves exhibited similar
surface structure after UNSM treatment. It has been reported material removal and deformation behaviors. Material pile-up at
66 I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

UNSM-treated specimens, respectively. Jardret et al. [20] have


reported earlier that there is a good correlation between the
surface morphology of scratch wear grooves and surface hard-
ness. Moreover, the deformation patterns induced in the scratch
process provide preliminary information needed to dene the
material removal behavior. It has also been reported earlier that
the observed plastic deformation features of scratch test, i.e. pile-
up and damages inside and at the edge of the scratch groove
result from tensile stress [21]. It was revealed according to the
obtained results that the UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-
treated specimens exhibited a bit higher resistance to scratch
than the polished and over-coated polished specimens, respec-
tively, which may be attributed to the increase in hardness and
the formation of plastically deformed layer at the top surface of
the UNSM-treated specimens.

3.3. Friction and wear behavior

The friction and wear behavior of the specimens was


assessed using a reciprocating ball-on-disk tribometer at a
temperature of 25 1C and in the range of normal loads from
20 N to 200 N under dry sliding conditions sliding against a
bearing steel ball. Fig. 8(a) shows the friction coefcient beha-
vior as a function of total number of cycles for the specimens at
a normal load of 20 N. It can be seen from Fig. 8(a) that the
polished and over-coated polished specimens exhibited a high
friction coefcient value of about  0.80 and  0.67 with high
uctuation throughout the test period, respectively. However,
the UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens
exhibited a relatively lower friction coefcient value of  0.64
and  0.61 throughout the test period, respectively. It can be
clearly seen from Fig. 8(a) that the friction coefcient of the
over-coated UNSM-treated specimen increased in a slow rate
compared with other specimens in the running-in process. The
reason for this friction behavior is that there is little or no true
contact area due to the corrugated surface structure of the over-
coated UNSM-treated specimen at the initial stage of sliding and
also the AlCrN coating readily oxidizes, which has low shear
strength, so that the oxide lm easily separates the counter
Fig. 6. Variation in friction coefcient derived from scratch test for the polished
surface ball and the disk specimen. After running-in process, the
and UNSM-treated (a) and over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated
(b) specimens as a function of scratch length of 2 mm. peak asperities break up and at surface comes into contact
which increases the bonding force between the mating surfaces.
At the same time due to the plowing effect, inclusion of trapped
the edge of the scratch grooves was evident in all the specimens, wear particles and debris and roughening of the disk specimen,
but it was more signicant in the polished and over-coated the friction increases with continuing of sliding distance. After
polished specimens compared to those of the UNSM-treated certain duration of sliding distance, the increase in surface
and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens, respectively. How- roughness and other surface parameters may reach to a certain
ever, covering the polished and UNSM-treated specimens with steady-state value and hence the friction coefcient remains
a thin AlCrN coating had almost no effect on the resistance to constant for the rest of the sliding distance (see Fig. 8(a)). It was
scratch since the thickness of the AlCrN coating was relatively found that covering the UNSM-treated specimen with a thin
thin to bear the maximum incremental normal load of 50 N. AlCrN coating led to a lower friction coefcient compared to
However, it can be seen from Fig. 7(d) that in the beginning of the that of the AlCrN coating which was deposited onto the polished
scratch test, the indenter tip was mostly sliding on the over- specimen. The relatively lower friction coefcient of the UNSM-
coated AlCrN coating that was deposited onto the UNSM-treated treated specimens compared to the polished specimens may be
specimen, not causing damage to the thin AlCrN coating, which is attributed to the increased hardness and corrugated surface
responsible for the improvement of bonding between AlCrN structure, which signify that the contact area between the
coating and UNSM-treated substrate. The bonding strength of UNSM-treated specimen and the corresponding surface ball
the AlCrN coating on the UNSM-treated specimen has increased was smaller than that of the polished specimen. The similar
considerably due to the deposition of AlCrN coating inside of the friction coefcient behavior of AlCrN coatings was also reported
corrugated surface. Muthuvel and Rajagopal [19] have studied the in previous studies [22,23]. Hence, it is obvious that the friction
inuence of dimples on the tribological performance of AlCrN coefcient of the specimens generally followed the value of
coatings. They have reported that the surface texturing improved their friction coefcients that were obtained from scratch tests.
appreciably the bonding strength between the AlCrN coating and The friction coefcient values of the specimens were plotted as a
the substrate. Moreover, the maximum depth of scratch grooves, function of normal load as shown in Fig. 8(b). It was found that
which were obtained by surface prolometer, were found to be the friction coefcient very much depends on the normal
about 15 and 12 mm for the over-coated polished and over-coated load, where it decreased with increasing normal load. This
I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172 67

Fig. 7. FE-SEM images of scratch grooves generated on the polished (a), UNSM-treated (b), over-coated polished (c) and over-coated UNSM-treated (d) specimens at a
maximum incremental normal load of 50 N.

Fig. 8. Variation in friction coefcient of the polished, UNSM-treated, over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens as a function of total number of cycles
at a normal load of 20 N (a) and at different normal loads (b).

phenomenon can be explained that the presence of a layer of the wear rate increased with increasing normal load. Also, it can
foreign material at the interface and the increase in surface be seen that covering the polished and UNSM-treated specimens
roughening and a large quantity of wear debris are responsible with a thin AlCrN coating drastically enhanced the wear resis-
for a low friction coefcient at a higher load. The decrease in tance. Moreover, it was revealed that the UNSM-treated specimen
friction coefcient with increasing normal load of metallic showed an increase in wear resistance compared to that of the
materials can be seen in previous studies as well [24,25]. The polished specimen, which may be attributed to the increased
UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens exhib- hardness and the corrugated surface structure. It has been
ited lower friction coefcient at all normal loads compared to reported earlier that the wear resistance of steel substrate
those of the polished and over-coated polished specimens. enhanced with increasing hardness [26]. Hence, it is obvious that
Variation in wear rate of the specimens quantied after wear the wear rates of the specimens generally followed the order of
tests at different normal loads is shown in Fig. 9. It was found that their friction coefcients.
68 I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

3.4. Worn surface characteristics However, the dominant wear mechanism becomes mild abrasive
and adhesive wear on the UNSM-treated specimen, while only
The wear behavior of the specimens was further investigated mild abrasive wear occurs on the over-coated UNSM-treated
using a FE-SEM in order to better understand the effectiveness of specimen. It implies that the modied surface structure can reduce
the UNSM technique on the wear resistance. Fig. 10 shows the adhesive wear, while the modied surface structure covered by
FE-SEM images of wear tracks formed on the polished, UNSM- AlCrN coating eliminate adhesive wear. Overall, it can be clearly
treated, over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated spe- seen after reciprocating sliding friction test that the over-coated
cimens. In all gures, the relative motion between the counter specimens slid against a bearing steel ball exhibited a signicant
surface ball and the disk specimens is in horizontal direction. It is small wear track compared to those of the polished and UNSM-
observed that the dominant wear mechanism exhibiting on the treated specimens with evidence of severe signs of abrasion inside
polished specimen is severe adhesive and abrasive wear (see the wear track, which is typically caused by abrasion due to
Fig. 10(a)), but it becomes mild adhesive and abrasive wear by asperities of the counter surface or particles and debris generated
covering the polished specimen with AlCrN coating (see Fig. 10(b)). during reciprocating sliding friction test. However, the UNSM-
treated and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens exhibited very
mild wear track as shown in Fig. 10(b and d). An increase in wear
resistance of the UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-treated
specimens compared to those of the polished and over-coated
polished specimens may be attributed to the increase in hardness
and to the decrease in contact patch diameter, respectively. To
demonstrate this fact the real contact patch diameter (2a) and
maximum contact pressure (Pm) calculated using appropriate
formula from Johnson [27] at a normal load of 20 N for the
polished and UNSM-treated specimens were found to be 168 mm
and 157 mm, and 0.78 GPa and 0.84 GPa, respectively. The critical
load at yield inception (Pc) of the counter surface balls come into
contact with the polished and UNSM-treated specimens calculated
using the following formula [28,29] was found to be 466 N and
402 N, respectively:

3 Y
Pc C 3 R1  2 2 1
6 E

Fig. 9. Variation in wear rate of the polished, UNSM-treated, over-coated polished


where Cv is the function of the Poisson's ratio Cv 1.234 1.256v, E,
and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens quantied after wear test at different Y and v are the Young's modulus, yield strength and Poisson's ratio
normal loads. of the counter surface ball material, respectively. Here Y was of the

Sliding direction

Adhesive wear Adhesive wear

No wear

Abrasive wear Abrasive wear

No wear

Abrasive wear
Adhesive wear Abrasive wear

Fig. 10. FE-SEM images of worn surface for the polished (a), UNSM-treated (b), over-coated polished (c) and over-coated UNSM-treated (d) specimens after wear tests at a
normal load of 20 N under reciprocating dry sliding conditions.
I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172 69

Fig. 11. Cross-sectional wear track proles of the polished and UNSM-treated (a) and over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated (b) specimens after wear tests at a
normal load of 20 N under reciprocating dry sliding conditions.

Fig. 12. Variation in friction coefcient and temperature of the over-coated polished and (a) and over-coated UNSM-treated (b) specimens as a function of total number of
cycles at a normal load of 400 N under reciprocating dry sliding conditions.

polished and UNSM-treated specimens calculated using the for- contact area between two mating surfaces in relative motion.
mula suggested by Kogut and Komvopoulos [30] was found to be Thus, low friction coefcient and high wear resistance of the
2.18 GPa and 2.39 GPa, respectively. It can be explained according UNSM-treated specimens can be elucidated. The mechanism of
to these above calculation results that low contact pressure, low low friction due to the corrugated surface was fully illustrated in
critical load and small contact area are responsible for the less the previous study [31]. Fig. 11 shows the cross-sectional prole of
possibility of plastic deformation and wear in the UNSM-treated the wear tracks generated on the specimens after wear test at a
specimens. normal load of 20 N. It can be seen that the polished specimen
The modied surface structure changed the contact loading exhibited the deepest wear track among other specimens. The
condition at the interface, where the surface hard peaks endured depth of the UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-treated speci-
most of the loading and prevented the wear debris and particles mens was shallower than those of the polished and over-coated
from direct pressing on the surface. The initial wear process could polished specimens, respectively. It is well known that hardness
also be mitigated with modied surface structure that may trap has been regarded as a primary material property which denes
wear debris and particles. It is obvious that the wear track on the wear resistance, and a higher coating hardness generally corre-
polished and over-coated polished specimens was clearly formed sponds to superior wear resistance without the elastic strain to
(Fig. 10(a and c)), while it was partially formed on the failure [32].
UNSM-treated and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens. This
partially formed wear track may be attributed to the corrugated 3.5. AlCrN coating fracture characteristics
surface topography generated due to the repeatedly strikes at an
interval of 0.07 mm under high-frequency of UNSM technique. For the tool applications, the durability and stability of thin
Hence, only the highest peaks of the corrugated surface structure coatings are of crucial importance since delamination of the
come into contact with the corresponding counter surface ball coatings during service may degrade the overall performance of
during reciprocating sliding, which also helped to reduce the the tools, which ultimately limits the service lifetime of the coated
70 I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

tools. The fracture phenomenon was determined as the recipro- specimen throughout the long-term test. It can be seen from
cating sliding time to reach a high value of the friction coefcient Fig. 12(a) that the friction coefcient gradually increased at the
(sudden increase in the friction coefcient). The tribological onset of sliding and reached the maximum friction coefcient
behavior of the sliding surfaces is dependent on the frictional value of about 0.66, and then gradually decreased and stabilized to
heating. Surface and near surface temperatures may become high a friction coefcient value of about 0.58. However, with continuing
enough to cause changes in structure and some properties of the the tribological test, the AlCrN coating deposited onto the polished
sliding surfaces. Fig. 12 shows the variation in friction coefcient specimen fractured at reciprocating sliding time of about 8637 s
and temperature as a function of total number of cycles for the (172000 cycles). Apparently, uctuations of the friction coefcient
over-coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens. It observed in Fig. 8(a) might be ascribed to the onset of coating
was found that the friction coefcient of the over-coated UNSM- failure and/or the increase of wear debris within the wear track. In
treated specimen was lower than that of the over-coated polished the case of over UNSM-treated specimen, the friction coefcient

Sliding direction

Fig. 13. FE-SEM images of worn surface for the over-coated polished (a) and over-coated UNSM-treated (b) specimens after reciprocating sliding time of 3 h at a normal load
of 400 N under reciprocating dry sliding conditions.

Al Cr Fe N

V S W O

Al Cr Fe N

V S W O

Fig. 14. Typical corresponding element distribution maps of the over-coated polished (a) and over-coated UNSM-treated (b) specimens subjected to reciprocating sliding
time of 3 h at a normal load of 400 N under reciprocating dry sliding conditions.
I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172 71

also gradually increased at the onset of sliding and reached the exposed to air or to oxygen-containing lubricants is of great
maximum friction coefcient value of about 0.53, and then practical importance. When the oxide lm is coherent and well
gradually decreased and stabilized to a friction coefcient value bonded to the surface, it is benecial because it prevents metal-
of about 0.49. Interestingly, there was no fracture or delamination metal contact where lowers friction and wear. When the oxide
evidence was found on the over-coated UNSM-treated specimen lm is easily removed from the surface, oxidation is detrimental
observing the tribological test results. In tribological contacts the because it promotes wear third-body abrasion by hard oxide
rise in temperature due to the frictional heat generated at the particles. Thus, an oxide layer may also play an important role in
peaks of the asperities can be of very high and under normal controlling the tribological properties of the specimens. It has
circumstances for most materials this has an adverse effect on the been reported earlier that combination of abrasive and oxidative
durability and fatigue life of mechanical components due to the wear was the main wear mechanism for the AlCrN coating in
increase in friction and wear. The temperature of the test chamber sliding wear tests, in which the tribo-oxidation played an impor-
was measured during these long-term tribological tests. It was tant role [10,22,23]. As the friction coefcient of the over-coated
found that the temperature of the over-coated polished specimen UNSM-treated specimen was lower than the over-coated on the
increased from 25 1C to 50 1C, while the temperature of the over- polished specimen and, thus, the temperature was also lower (see
coated UNSM-treated specimen increased from 25 1C to 45 1C as Fig. 12). As a result, it was found that the UNSM technique has a
shown in Fig. 12. It is obvious that the temperature is gradually greater potential to improve the wear resistance and to reduce the
increased for the over-coated polished specimen, where it is frictional heat of AlCrN coating.
somehow stable for the over-coated UNSM-treated specimen. It
is believed that the rise in temperature may attributed to the real
contact area where it was smaller for the over-coated UNSM- 4. Conclusions
treated specimen compared to that of the over-coated polished
specimen. As a result, it was found that the UNSM technique may In this study, the effects of a combination of UNSM technique
also reduce the frictional heat generated during the long-term and AlCrN coating on the tribological properties of HSS were
tribological tests due to a low friction coefcient and small contact investigated. It was found that the UNSM-treated and over-coated
area. These results are of importance in industrial practice where UNSM-treated specimens had better friction and wear properties
temperature rise is considered to be detrimental to sliding for compared to those of the polished and over-coated polished
most engineering materials. However, more experimental works specimens, respectively. The improvement may be ascribed to
are needed to be performed in the near future in order to make a the increased hardness and decrease in contact area resulting in
nal conclusion about the effects of UNSM technique on contact good adhesion. The corrugated surface structure reduced the
temperature. contact area of interacting surfaces resulting in low friction and
The wear behavior of the specimens was further investigated high resistance to wear. It was revealed that the deposited AlCrN
using a FE-SEM in order to better understand the inuence of the coating was benecial for improving the tribological properties of
UNSM technique on the fracture behavior of AlCrN coating HSS specimens. It is expected that the results of this study can be
deposited on the UNSM-treated specimen. Fig. 13 shows the applied to reduce the tensile loading of FBPs, which occurs during
FE-SEM images of the typical wear scars generated on the over- the withdrawal from the punching grate and ejection of the inner
coated polished and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens. It can from waste.
be seen that the resistance to wear of the over-coated UNSM-
treated specimen was higher than that of the over-coated polished
specimen. An increase in wear resistance of the over-coated Acknowledgments
UNSM-treated specimen may be attributed to the formation of
plastically deformed layer with a thickness of about 4 mm. Also, the The authors would like to thank Korea Institute of Industrial
corrugated surface structure of the over-coated UNSM-treated Technology (KITECH) for partial nancial support. The authors
specimen was responsible for small contact area between the would also like to acknowledge DesignMecha Co. Ltd., for allowing
mating surfaces in relative motion. Liu and Xiong [33] have using the UNSM technique for preparation of the specimens
studied earlier the effect of contact temperature rise during sliding employed in this study.
on the wear resistance of HSSs at elevated temperature. They have
found that the wear increases with the rise in contact temperature
which means that the resistance to wear results from the very References
cause that is normally responsible for the increased wear and
seizure of common engineering materials. The over-coated [1] Shim KH, Lee SK, Kang BS, Hwang SM. Investigation of blanking of thin sheet
polished and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens tested for 3 h metal using ductile fracture criterion and its experimental verication. J Mater
Process Technol 2004;155156:193542.
was investigated by EDS in order to understand the chemical [2] Monteil G, Greban F, Roizard X. In situ punch wear measurement in a blanking
composition of the fractured specimens. Typical corresponding tool by means of thin layer activation. Wear 2008;265:62633.
element distribution maps of the over-coated polished and over- [3] Lauwers B, Kruth JP, Eeraerts W. Wear behaviour and tool life of wireEDMed
and ground carbide punches. CIRPAnnManufac Technol 2005;54(1):1636.
coated UNSM-treated specimens are shown in Fig. 14. It can be [4] Wang L, Nie X, Housden J, Spain E, Jiang JC, Meletis EI, et al. Materials transfer
seen that the over-coated AlCrN on the polished specimen showed phenomena and failure mechanism of a nanostructured CrAlN coating in
more spallation and low resistance to wear compared to that of laboratory wear tests and an industrial punch tool application. Surf Coat
Technol 2008;203:81621.
the over-coated AlCrN on the UNSM-treated specimen. EDS map- [5] Col M, Kir D, Eresir E. Wear and blanking performance of AlCrN PVDcoated
ping revealed that the wear scar surface areas of both specimens punches. Mater Sci 2013;48(4):51420.
were covered by O, but the degree of oxidation on the over-coated [6] Mo JL, Zhu MH, Leyland A, Matthews A. Impact wear and abrasion resistance
of CrN, AlCrN and AlTiN PVD coatings. Surf Coat Technol 2013;215(25):1707.
UNSM-treated specimen was a little bit higher (16.48 in wt%)
[7] B. Hogman, Steel for press tool: blanking of ultra-high strength steel sheets, In:
compared to that of the over-coated polished specimen (15.31 in Proceedings of the 6th International Tooling Conference, Sweden, (2002)
wt%). A small difference in oxidation between the over-coated 237253.
polished and over-coated UNSM-treated specimens might be [8] Cadena NL, CueSampedro R, Siller HR, ArizmendiMorquecho AM, Rivera
Solorio CI, DiNardo S. Study of PVD AlCrN coating for reducing carbide
related to the contact temperature attained during the long-term cutting tool deterioration in the machining of titanium alloys. Material
tribological tests. The oxidation which occurs on sliding surfaces 2013;6:214354.
72 I. Cho et al. / Tribology International 81 (2015) 6172

[9] Endrino JL, FoxRabinovich GS, Gey C. Hard AlTiN, AlCrN PVD coatings for [21] Ghosh D, Subhash G, Orlovskaya N. Measurement of scratch-induced residual
machining of austenitic stainlesssteel. Surf Coat Technol 2006;2004 stress within SiC grains in ZrB2SiC composite using microRaman spectro-
(24):68405. scopy. Acta Mater 2008;56:534554.
[10] Mo JL, Zhu MH. Tribological oxidation behavior of PVD hard coatings. Tribol Int [22] Mo JL, Zhu MH, Lei B, Leng YX, Huang N. Comparison of tribological behaviors
2009;42(11):175864. of AlCrN and TiAlN coatingsdeposited by physical vapor deposition. Wear
[11] Li Y, Sun K, Liu P, Liu Y, Chui P. Surface nanocrystallization induced by fast 2007;263:14239.
multiple rotation rolling on Ti6Al4V and its effects on microstructure and [23] Mo JL, Zhu MH. Sliding tribological behavior of AlCrN coating. Tribol Int
properties. Vacuum 2014;101:1026. 2008;41:11618.
[12] Amanov A, Cho IS, Sasaki S. The inuence of DLC coating on the mechanical [24] Bhushan B. Tribology and mechanics of magnetic storage devices 2nd Ed.
and frictional properties of unpeened and peened Cubased bimetal under dry New York: Springer-Verleg; 1996.
sliding. Mater Chem Phys 2014;143(2):81424. [25] Chowdhury MA, Helali MM, Nuruzzaman DM, Rahaman ML. The effect of
[13] Amanov A, Cho IS, Pyoun YS, Lee CS, Park IG. Microdimpled surface by sliding speed and normal load on friction and wear property of aluminum.
ultrasonic nanocrystal surface modication and its tribological effects. Wear IJMME 2011;11:537.
2012;286287:13644. [26] Bressan JD, Daros DP, Sokolowski A, Mesquita RA, Barbosa CA. Inuence of
[14] Amanov A, Cho IS, Kim DE, Pyun YS. Fretting wear and friction reduction of CP hardness on the wear resistance of 174 PH stainless steel by the pinondisk
titanium and Ti6Al4V alloy by ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modica- testing. J Mater Process Technol 2008;205:3539.
tion. Surf Coat Technol 2012;207:13542. [27] Johnson KL. Contact mechanics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1987.
[15] Hall EO. Variation of hardness of metals with grain size. Nature [28] Li L, Etsion I, Talke F. The effect of frequency on fretting in a micro-spherical
1954;173:9489. contact. Wear 2011;270:85765.
[16] Lasamonie A, Strudel JL. Mechanical properties of Ti6Al4V titanium alloy [29] Song W, Li L, Ovcharenko A, Jia D, Etsion I, Talke F. Plastic yield inception of an
with submicrocrystalline structure produced by severe plastic deformation. indented coated at and comparison with a attened coated sphere. Tribol Int
J Mater Sci 1986;21:183752. 2012;53:617.
[17] Amanov A, Pyun YS, Sasaki S. Effects of ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface [30] Kogut L, Komvopoulos K. Analysis of the spherical indentation cycle for
modication (UNSM) technique on the tribological behavior of sintered elasticperfectly plastic solids. J Mater Res 2004;19(12):364153.
Cu-based alloy. Tribol Int 2014;72:18797. [31] Amanov A, Cho IS, Kim DE. Effectiveness of high-frequency ultrasonic peening
[18] Amanov A, Sasaki S, Pyun YS. Frictional behavior of duplex nano-corrugated treatment on the tribological characteristics of Cu-based sintered materials on
and nano-structured Cu alloy produced by UNSM. Process Eng 2013;68:4916. steel substrate. Mater Des 2013;45:11824.
[19] Muthuvel PA, Rajagopal R. Inuence of surface texture on tribological [32] Leyland A, Matthews A. On the signicance of the H/E ratio in wear control: a
performance of AlCrN nanocomposite coated titanium alloy surface. Proc nanocomposite coating approach to optimised tribological behavior. Wear
IMechE Part J: J Eng Tribol 2013;227(10):115764. 2000;246:111.
[20] Jardret V, Zahouani H, Loubet JL, Mathia TG. Understanding and quantication [33] Liu RT, Xiong X. Tribological properties of sulfur-containing high-speed steels
of elastic and plastic deformation during a scratch test. Wear 1998;218:814. at elevated temperature. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc China 2013;23:167480.