Wear mechanism operating in W-DLC coatings in contact with machined steel surfaces

N. Yao, A. G. Evans, C. V. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The lubricated wear of a steel couple in which one member is coated with W-DLC is contrasted with that found when both surfaces are coated. The protrusions on the uncoated steel surface are sufficiently hard that they penetrate the W-DLC coating on the mating surface, forming plastic grooves that align along the translation direction. The contact severity exceeds the cracking threshold for the W-DLC coating. The lateral cracks create spalls that remove material at a high rate. The median cracks adversely affect the fatigue life, since some penetrate into the steel substrate. The implication is that a W-DLC coating on only one of the mating surfaces does not enhance durability: both surfaces must be coated to realize the durability benefit. The observed spalling and cracking have been rationalized using established indentation results derived for monolithic brittle solids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 23 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


  • Carbon alloy coatings
  • Diamond-like carbon (DLC)
  • FIB
  • Friction/lubricity
  • Surface
  • Wear


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