Influence of substrate microstructure on the contact fatigue strength of coated cold-work tool steels
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The contact fatigue behavior of three microstructurally distinct tool steels coated with a physical vapor deposited TiN film is studied. Substrate microstructural differences come from variations in either chemical composition or processing route. Experimental procedure is based on determining critical applied loads and pressures, under both monotonic and cyclic spherical indentation loading conditions, for emergence and evolution of distinct damage modes at the coating surface: circumferential cracking, cohesive spallation and interfacial decohesion. Experimental results indicate that all coating/substrate systems evaluated are susceptible to mechanical degradation associated with repetitive contact loading. This is clearly discerned from the fact that some damage mechanisms, such as cohesive spallation at the coating and adhesion failure at the interface, are exclusively observed under cyclic loading. Substrate microstructure effects are evidenced by consideration of coating detachment as the critical damage mechanism. In this regard, crack nucleation resistance of primary carbides is pointed out as the main reason for the distinct response against decohesion observed under cyclic contact loads. Hence, finer and tougher, as well as less irregular and more homogeneously distributed primary carbides are pointed out as key microstructural features for enhancing contact fatigue strength of coated cold-work tool steels.
CitationRamirez, G. [et al.]. Influence of substrate microstructure on the contact fatigue strength of coated cold-work tool steels. "Surface and coatings technology", 25 Febrer 2012, vol. 206, núm. 13, p. 3069-3081.