An Analysis of Mechanical and Tribological Properties of Zr/Zr2N Multilayer Coatings

Publication from Materials
Laser- und Plasma-Technologien

Kot Marcin, Lackner Jürgen, Major Łukasz, Szczęch Marcin, Wiązania Grzegorz, Zimowski Sławomir

Tribologia Nr. 4, 15-22, 9/2019


The paper presents the analysis of effect of the Zr to Zr2N layer thickness ratios of 1:1, 1:2, and 1:4 on the mechanical properties of Zr /Zr2N multilayer coatings. With the increase in the amount of the ceramic phase in the multilayer coating, an increase in hardness from 11 to 14.5 GPa and Young's modulus from 158 to 211 GPa was observed. This was accompanied by improved scratch resistance as critical load LC2 raises from 17 to over 30 N. A ratio increase from 1:1 to 1:2 caused a 3-fold improvement in the coating wear resistance, which was also accompanied by a change in the wear mechanism. However, there was no further improvement of this parameter with a ratio increase to 1:4. Microscopic analysis of wear tracks, using the TEM technique revealed that the Zr metal layers change the direction of crack propagation. This phenomenon results in the improved fracture resistance of multilayer coatings compared to single coatings. Such a mechanism was even observed for the 1:4 coating with the thinnest 58 nm Zr layers.