Scanning Scratch Tests for Evaluating the Adhesion of Thin Oxide Films on Stainless Steel


Amorphous alumina films were deposited by metal-organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) on stainless steel, type AISI 304. The MOCVD experiments were performed in nitrogen at low pressure (0.17 kPa (1.25 torr)).

The effect of deposition temperature (200 − 380 °C), growth rate, film thickness, and post-deposition thermal treatment on the mechanical properties was studied. The experiments were performed with a scanning-scratch tester. The experiments are based on the estimation of the film adhesion to the substrate by determining a critical load, Lc: the load where the film starts to spall or to delaminate.

The best mechanical properties were obtained with unannealed samples. After thermal annealing the critical load decreases. Regarding the unannealed samples, the critical load increased with increasing film thickness. The deposition temperature and the growth rate had no effect on the critical load.

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Haanappel, V.A.C., van Corbach, H.D., Fransen, T. et al. Scanning Scratch Tests for Evaluating the Adhesion of Thin Oxide Films on Stainless Steel. MRS Online Proceedings Library 356, 863–868 (1994).

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