Refractory high/medium entropy nitrides (HENs/MENs) exhibit comprehensive application prospects as protective films on mechanical parts, particularly those subjected to sliding contacts at elevated temperatures. In this study, a new MEN system TiNbWN, forming a single fcc solution, is designed and its wear performance at temperatures ranging from 25 to 750 °C is explored. The wear mechanisms can be rationalized by examining the subsurface microstructural evolutions using the transmission electron microscopy as well as calculating the phase diagrams and interfacial adhesion behavior employing calculation of phase diagram (CALPHAD) and density functional theory (DFT). To be specific, increased wear losses occur in a temperature range of 25–600 °C, being predominantly caused by the thermally-induced hardness degradation; whereas at the ultimate temperature (750 °C), the wear loss is refrained due to the formation of nanocrystalline oxides (WnO3n−2, TiO2, and γTiOx), as synergistically revealed by microscopy and CALPHAD, which not only enhance the mechanical properties of the pristine nitride film, but also act as solid lubricants, reducing the interfacial adhesion. Thus, our work delineates the role of the in situ formed nanocrystalline oxides in the wear mechanism transition of TiNbWN thin films, which could shed light on the high-temperature wear behavior of refractory HEN/MEN films.
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Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (52142501 and 52101026), the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0703400), Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LQ20E010004), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2021M693250), Ningbo 3315 Innovation Team (2019A-18-C), CAS PIFI program (2022VEA0005), and CAS Pioneer Hundred Talents Program are greatly acknowledged.
Declaration of competing interest
The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
Leilei CHEN. He received his bachelor degree in 2016 from Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. In 2019, he obtained his M.E. degree in mechanical engineering from Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China. His is currently a Ph.D. student in the Key Laboratory for Precision and Non-Traditional Machining Technology of Ministry of Education at Dalian University of Technology. His research interests include friction performances and wear mechanisms of the physical vapour deposition (PVD) nitride films.
Zhenyu ZHANG. He received his B.E. degree in mechanical engineering in 2000 from Hebei Institute of Science and Technology, Tangshan, China. In 2003, he received M.E. degree in mechanical engineering from Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China. After that, he obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2005 in solid mechanics from Tianjin University, Tianjin, China. His current position is a professor in mechanical engineering at Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China. His research interests focus on precision and ultra-precision machining technologies, and high performance manufacturing.
Keke CHANG. He received his bachelor and master degree from Central South University, Changsha, China, in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and Ph.D. degree from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, in 2013. He is now a professor at Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo, China. His research interest is theoretical design of coatings, surfaces, and interfaces for serving in harsh environments.
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Chen, L., Zhang, Z., Lou, M. et al. High-temperature wear mechanisms of TiNbWN films: Role of nanocrystalline oxides formation. Friction 11, 460–472 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40544-022-0621-x
- high/medium entropy nitrides (HENs/MENs)
- TiNbWN thin films
- wear mechanisms
- nanocrystalline oxides