Adhesive-deformation relationships and mechanical properties of nc-AlCrN/a-SiNx hard coatings deposited at different bias voltages

M. Haršáni, N. Ghafoor, K. Calamba, P. Zacková, M. Sahul, T. Vopát, L. Satrapinskyy, M. Čaplovičová, Ľ. Čaplovič

Thin Solid Films, Volume 650, 2018, Pages 11-19


A series of Al-Cr-Si-N hard coatings were deposited on WC-Co substrates with a negative substrate bias voltage ranging from −50 to −200 V using cathodic arc evaporation system. A Rockwell-C adhesion test demonstrated that excellent adhesion was observed at lower bias voltages of −50 V and −80 V, while further increases in bias voltage up to −200 V led to severe delamination and worsening of the overall adhesion strength. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed a single phase cubic B1-structure identified as an AlCrN solid solution with a nanocomposite microstructure where cubic AlCrN nanocrystals were embedded in a thin continuous amorphous SiNx matrix. Coatings exhibited a 002-texture evolution that was more pronounced at higher bias voltages (≥−120 V). Stress-induced cracks were observed inside the coatings at high bias voltages (≥−150 V), which resulted in stress relaxation and a decline in the overall residual stresses.