Comparative Investigation on the Tribological Performances of TiN, TiCN, and Ti-DLC Film-Coated Stainless Steel
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TiN, TiCN, and Ti-diamond-like carbon (DLC) films were coated on 316L stainless steel surfaces by physical vapor deposition. All films exhibited uniform and dense surfaces with good adhesion. The Ti-DLC film demonstrated the lowest surface roughness. TiC and free C were observed in both the TiCN and Ti-DLC films. Among the three films, the TiCN film demonstrated the highest hardness and elastic modulus, followed by the Ti-DLC film and finally the TiN film. Under dry conditions, all films exhibited significantly lower coefficients of friction than stainless steel. The Ti-DLC film showed the lowest coefficient of friction and is thus considered an ideal anti-wear material for orthodontic applications. The friction mechanisms of the three films were also compared. Therefore, this study provides experimental data and a theoretical basis that may guide the production and modification of dental braces.
The authors acknowledge support from the Changsha Science and Technology Plan Project (grant no. KQ1801140), the Health and Family Planning Commission of Hunan Province (grant no. B2016244), and the Guangxi Science and Technology Plan Project (grant no. 2017GXNSFBA198187 and 2018GXNSFAA281237).
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