Enhanced performance of HFCVD nanocrystalline diamond self-mated tribosystems by plasma pretreatments on silicon nitride substrates


Nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) coatings were grown by the hot-filament chemical vapour deposition (HFCVD) method on hydrogen plasma pretreated silicon nitride (Si3N4) substrates. The friction and wear behaviour of self-mated NCD films, submitted to unlubricated sliding and high applied loads (up to 90 N), was assessed using an oscillating ball-on-flat configuration in ambient atmosphere. The reciprocating tests revealed an initially high friction coefficient peak, associated to the starting surface roughness of NCD coatings (R-q = 50 nm). Subsequently, a steady-state regime with low friction coefficient values (0.01-0.04) sets in, related to a smoother (R-q = 17 nm) tribologically modified surface. A polishing wear mechanism governing the material loss was responsible for mild wear coefficients (k similar to 10(-7) mm(3) N-1 m(-1)). The hydrogen etching procedure notably increased the film adhesion with respect to untreated surfaces as demonstrated by the high threshold loads (60 N; 3.5 GPa) prior to film delamination. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



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Materials Science


Abreu, CS; Amaral, M; Oliveira, FJ; Fernandes, AJS; Gomes, JR; Silva, RF

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