Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing...

Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical properties of ... influence on the microstructure
Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical properties of ... influence on the microstructure
Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical properties of ... influence on the microstructure
Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical properties of ... influence on the microstructure
Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical properties of ... influence on the microstructure
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Transcript of Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanical ... volinsky/ ‚ ‚ Annealing...

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    008) 46854689www.elsevier.com/locate/tsf

    Thin Solid Films 516 (2

    Annealing effects on microstructure and mechanicalproperties of chromium oxide coatings

    Xiaolu Pang a,b, Kewei Gao a,, Fei Luo a, Huisheng Yang a, Lijie Qiao a,Yanbin Wang a, Alex A. Volinsky b

    a Department of Materials Physics and Chemistry, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, Chinab Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA

    Received 28 December 2006; received in revised form 3 July 2007; accepted 9 August 2007Available online 23 August 2007

    Abstract

    Reactive radio frequency magnetron sputter-deposited chromium oxide coatings were annealed at different temperatures and times. Theinfluence of annealing temperature on the microstructure, surface morphology and mechanical properties was examined by X-ray diffraction,nanoindentation, pin-on-disc wear and scratch tests, respectively. X-ray results show that the chromium oxide sputtered at room temperature inlow oxygen flux is primarily amorphous. Annealing below 400 C did not cause much change, while annealing at higher temperature of 500 Ccaused a significant change in microstructure and mechanical properties. Hardness increased from 12.3 GPa to 26 GPa, and the wearabilityimproved with higher annealing temperature due to the formation of crystalline Cr2O3 phase, which occurs at 470 C. Annealing time had littleeffect on mechanical properties and microstructure, although coating surface roughness increased with a longer annealing time. Coating adhesionwas improved by annealing, due to residual stress relief and possible interfacial interdiffusion. 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Keywords: Annealing; Chromium oxide; Hardness; Wear resistance; Adhesion

    1. Introduction

    Chromium oxide coatings exhibit high hardness, low friction,high wear and corrosion resistance, and good optical character-istics [14]. Many techniques have been developed to depositchromium oxide coatings, including reactive radio frequency(RF) magnetron sputtering, which is most suitable for industrialproduction. It is possible to achieve high quality Cr2O3 stoi-chiometric coating with nearly 30 GPa hardness combined withgood scratch resistance [5]. Hardness and wear resistance areimportant properties of chromium oxide for protective coatingsapplications. Several attempts have been made to obtain highhardness and good wear resistance by controlling the coatingdeposition parameters [2,68].

    Previous research shows that hardness of chromium oxidecoatings strongly depends on the stoichiometric polycrystallineCr2O3 phase present in the coating. Sputter deposition param-

    Corresponding author.E-mail address: kwgao@yahoo.com (K. Gao).

    0040-6090/$ - see front matter 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2007.08.083

    eters, such as oxygen partial pressure (controlled by oxygenflow rate), radio frequency, substrate bias and temperature haveinfluence on the microstructure and mechanical properties of

    Fig. 1. DSC analysis of chromium oxide coating performed in Ar and in air,showing phase transformation at 470 C.

    mailto:kwgao@yahoo.comhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2007.08.083

  • Fig. 2. XRD patterns of chromium oxide coatings annealed at differenttemperatures and times: (a) as-deposited, (b) 400 C for 1 h, (c) 400 C for 3 h,(d) 500 C for 1 h, and (e) 500 C for 3 h.

    4686 X. Pang et al. / Thin Solid Films 516 (2008) 46854689

    chromium oxide coatings. An increase in oxygen partial pres-sure could be beneficial for the Cr2O3 phase formation, but atthe same time may increase the possibility of target poisoning[2,8]. Radio frequency and substrate bias are often responsi-ble for high residual stresses, leading to coating crazing andspalling [9]. High substrate temperature limits coating applica-tions to components, which can withstand high deposition tem-peratures. As-deposited chromium oxide coatings prepared byreactive RF magnetron sputtering often contain both polycrys-talline Cr2O3 and lower hardness amorphous phases [2].

    In this paper, sputter-deposited chromium oxide coatings onlow carbon steel substrates ware annealed at high temperatures

    Fig. 3. Surface morphology of chromium oxide coatings annealed at different temper(e) 500 C for 3 h.

    in order to obtain stoichiometric polycrystalline Cr2O3 phase.The influence of annealing temperature and time on the coatingmicrostructure, hardness, wear resistance and adhesion strengthwas investigated.

    2. Experimental details

    Deposition of chromium oxide coatings on low carbon steelsubstrates was performed by unbiased reactive magnetronsputtering at a total pressure of 101 Pa of mixed Ar and O2atmosphere (99.99% purity) at 350 W RF power. Ar flux was 20standard cubic centimeters per minute (sccm), and oxygen fluxwas 2.3 sccm. Steel substrates were polished and ultrasonicallycleaned in acetone prior to deposition. Distance between thesubstrate and the target was 55 mm. In order to enhance coatingadhesion, steel substrates were etched in Ar plasma, and then apure Cr interlayer was deposited for 15 min with the thicknessof 800 nm. Total deposition time for the chromium oxidecoating was 1 h, which resulted in a 4 m thick coating.

    Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements of thecoatings were performed from room temperature to 800 C in Argas and in air. Later coatings were annealed in air for either 1 or3 hours at various temperatures according to the DSC analysisresults.

    The coatingmicrostructurewas examined usingRigakuD/max-RB X-ray diffractometer with a Cu source. Surface morphology,hardness andYoung'smodulus of the coatingswere characterizedusing Hysitron Triboindenter with a Berkovich diamond indentertip. The indenter tip was loaded at a constant rate of 150 N/s

    atures: (a) as-deposited, (b) 400 C for 1 h, (c) 500 C for 1 h, (d) 400 C for 3 h,

  • Fig. 5. Annealing effects on hardness and elastic modulus of chromium oxidecoatings.

    4687X. Pang et al. / Thin Solid Films 516 (2008) 46854689

    to the maximum load of 3 mN. Hardness and modulus valuespresented are an average of ten or more indents for each testcondition. Wear experiments were carried out by means of theCETR Micro-Tribometer model UMT-2 at room temperature inair. Relative sliding speed of the diamond tip was 300 mm/minwith the normal load of 5 N. The wear resistance was evaluated interms of the wear volume.

    Adhesion between chromium oxide coatings and steel sub-strates was evaluated as a function of different annealing con-ditions by means of a scratch test using UMT tribometer. Thenormal load was continuously increased at a rate of 0.25 N/s,while the conical diamond tip (120 angle, 200 m tip radius)was moving at a constant velocity of 0.05 mm/s.

    3. Results and discussion

    Results of Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measure-ments are presented in Fig. 1, which shows an inverse peakobserved on both curves obtained in air and Argon. The inversepeak indicates that the chromium oxide coating underwent aphase transformation at about 470 C. Correspondingly, theannealing tests were carried out at either 400 or 500 C for 1 or3 h in air.

    Fig. 2 shows X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of the as-deposited and annealed chromium oxide coatings on low carbonsteel substrates. It can be seem from Fig. 2(a) that the as-depositedchromium oxide coating is amorphous, as only a few substratediffraction peaks are present. Some crystalline Cr2O3 peaksappear in Fig. 2(b) with the amorphous background after thechromiumoxide coatingwas annealed at 400 C for 1 h.When theannealing time was increased to 3 h at 400 C, as shown in Fig. 2(c), the diffraction peaks of Cr2O3 phase changed a little, but thesubstrate diffraction peaks became weaker, compared with Fig. 2(b). Fig. 2(c) also reveals that although the annealing time wasincreased, the amorphous phase had not completely transform tocrystalline chromium oxide phase.

    Fig. 2(d) and (e) exhibit XRD patterns of chromium oxidecoating annealed at 500 C for 1 and 3 h, respectively. Thesepatterns clearly exhibit crystalline Cr2O3 phase diffractionpeaks, and no amorphous phase is observed in these specimens.It can be concluded that the chromium oxide coatings annealed

    Fig. 4. The influence of annealing temperature and time on coating roughness.

    at 500 C had completely transformed to the polycrystallineCr2O3 phase. Fig. 2(d) and (e) exhibit a little difference in widthand intensity of the Cr2O3 phase diffraction peaks. Comparedwith those in Fig. 2(d), the width of Cr2O3 phase diffractionpeaks in Fig. 2(e) are narrower with higher intensity, whichindicates that the grain size of polycrystalline chromium oxideincreased with annealing time.

    Chromium oxide surface morphology was observed by usingthe scanning capabilities of Hysitron Triboindenter. As seen inFigs. 3 and 4, as-deposited coating exhibits island surfacestructure with 5.5 nm Ra roughness. When chromium oxidecoatings were annealed at 400 C and 500 C for 1 h, theirsurface roughness decreased to 4.1 nm and 3.6 nm, respectively.After annealing time was increased to 3 h, at 400 C, a morecompact and smoother coating surface was observed in Fig. 3(d), however, at 500 C, the coating surface became coarser withRa roughness of 4.3 nm. Higher roughness observed afterannealing at 500 C could be attributed to grain growth of thecrystalline Cr2O3 phase.

    Hardness and elastic modulus of chromium oxide coatingsannealed at different conditions are presented in Fig. 5. It can beseen that annealing treatment can significantly increase bothhardness and elastic modulus. Hardness of the as-depositedamorphous chromium oxide coatings is 12.3 GPa. After annealingat 400 C for 1 h, hardness increase