Al/SiC nanolaminates have been shown to possess excellent combination of mechanical strength and flexibility. While metal–ceramic multilayers present a tremendous opportunity for hard coatings, the strength evaluation is usually carried out under static loading conditions such as nanoindentation and microcompression testing. In this study, we have studied the scratch resistance behavior of Al/SiC nanolaminates. These properties are then compared to monolithic films of Al and SiC. Finally, the deformation behavior under such loading was quantified by critical load, work of deformation, and postexperimental microstructural analysis by scanning electron microscopy and focused ion beam cross sections. It is shown that the combination of hard SiC and plastic Al layers provides enhanced resistance to scratch loading and makes these materials as very good candidates for wear-resistant coatings.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
T.Z. Lu, M. Alexe, R. Scholz, V. Talelaev, and M. Zacharias: Multilevel charge storage in silicon nanocrystal multilayers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 202110 (2005).
A.L. Lima, X. Zhang, A. Misra, C.H. Booth, E.D. Bauer, and M.F. Hundley: Length scale effects on the electronic transport properties of nanometric Cu/Nb multilayers. Thin Solid Films 515, 3574 (2007).
S. Promnimit, S.H.M. Jafri, D. Sweatman, and J. Dutta: Conduction properties of layer-by-layer self-assembled multilayer nanoparticulate structures. J. Nanoelectron. Optoelectron. 3, 184 (2008).
M. Albrecht, G. Hu, I.L. Guhr, T.C. Ulbrich, J. Boneberg, P. Leiderer, and G. Schatz: Magnetic multilayers on nanospheres. Nat. Mater. 4, 203 (2005).
X. Wang, H. Masumoto, Y. Someno, and T. Hirai: Helicon plasma deposition of a TiO2/SiO2 multilayer optical filter with graded refractive index profiles. Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3264 (1998).
J. Hiltunen, D. Seneviratne, R. Sun, M. Stolfi, H.L. Tuller, J. Lappalainen, and V. Lantto: BaTiO3–SrTiO3 multilayer thin film electro-optic waveguide modulator. Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 242904 (2006).
S. PalDey and S.C. Deevi: Single layer and multilayer wear resistant coatings of (Ti,Al)N: A review. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 342, 58 (2003).
A. Misra, J.P. Hirth, and R.G. Hoagland: Length-scale-dependent deformation mechanisms in incoherent metallic multilayered composites. Acta Mater. 53, 4817 (2005).
Y.C. Wang, A. Misra, and R.G. Hoagland: Fatigue properties of nanoscale Cu/Nb multilayers. Scr. Mater. 54, 1593 (2006).
Z.H. Xie, M. Hoffman, P. Munroe, R. Singh, A. Bendavid, and P.J. Martin: Microstructural response of TiN monolithic and multilayer coatings during microscratch testing. J. Mater. Res. 22, 2312 (2007).
S. Graça, R. Colaço, and R. Vilar: Micro-to-nano indentation and scratch hardness in the Ni-Co system: Depth dependence and implications for tribological behavior. Tribol. Lett. 31, 177 (2008).
E. Martínez, J. Romero, A. Lousa, and J. Esteve: Wear behavior of nanometric CrN/Cr multilayers. Surf. Coat. Tech. 163, 571 (2003).
T. Mori, S. Fukuda, and Y. Takemura: Improvement of mechanical properties of Ti/TiN multilayer film deposited by sputtering. Surf. Coat. Tech. 140, 122 (2001).
X. Lu, B. Shi, L.K.Y. Li, J. Luo, and J. Mou: Nanoindentation and nanotribological behavior of Fe-N/Ti-N multilayers with different thickness of Fe-N layers. Wear 247, 15 (2001).
S.P. Wen, R.L. Zong, F. Zeng, S. Guo, and F. Pan: Nanoindentation and nanoscratch behaviors of Ag/Ni multilayers. Appl. Surf. Sci. 255(8), 4558 (2009).
P.C. Wo, P.R. Munroe, Z. Xie, Z. Zhou, and K.Y. Li: Three-dimensional visualization of scratch-induced subsurface damage in TiSiN/TiN multilayer coating using focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopic tomography technique. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 94(5), 1598 (2011).
A. Vyas, K.Y. Li, and Y.G. Shen: Influence of deposition conditions on mechanical and tribological properties of nanostructured TiN/CNx multilayer films. Surf. Coat. Tech. 203(8), 967 (2009).
N. Chawla and D.R.P. Singh: Three dimensional (3D) visualization of damage in metal-ceramic nanolayers by focused ion beam (FIB) serial sectioning. Microsc. Microanal. 14, 140 (2008).
N. Chawla, D.R. Singh, Y.L. Shen, G. Tang, and K.K. Chawla: Indentation mechanics and fracture behavior of metal/ceramic nanolaminate composites. J. Mater. Sci. 43, 4383 (2008).
X. Deng, N. Chawla, K.K. Chawla, M. Koopman, and J.P. Chu: Mechanical behavior of multilayered nanoscale metal-ceramic composites. Adv. Eng. Mater. 7, 1099 (2005).
X. Deng, C. Cleveland, N. Chawla, T. Karcher, M. Koopman, and K.K. Chawla: Nanoindentation behavior of nanolayered metal-ceramic composites. J. Mater. Eng. Perform. 14, 417 (2005).
D.R.P. Singh, N. Chawla, G. Tang, and Y-L. Shen: Micropillar compression of Al/SiC nanolaminates. Acta Mater. 58, 6628 (2010).
W.C. Oliver and G.M. Pharr: Measurement of hardness and elastic modulus by instrumented indentation: Advances in understanding and refinements to methodology. J. Mater. Res. 19, 3 (2004).
D. Bhattacharyya, N.A. Mara, P. Dickerson, R.G. Hoagland, and A. Misra: A transmission electron microscopy study of the deformation behavior underneath nanoindents in nanoscale Al-TiN multilayered composites. Philos. Mag. 90, (13), 1711 (2010).
M.D. Uchic, P.A. Shade, and D.M. Dimiduk: Plasticity of micrometer-scale single crystals in compression. Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 39, 361 (2009).
S.M. Han, M.A. Phillips, and W.D. Nix: Study of strain softening behavior of Al-Al3Sc multilayers using microcompression testing. Acta Mater. 57(15), 4473 (2009).
S.J. Bull and E.G. Berasetegui: An overview of the potential of quantitative coating adhesion measurement by scratch testing. Tribol. Int. 39, 99 (2006).
M. Larsson, M. Olsson, P. Hedenqvist, and S. Hogmark: Mechanisms of coating failure as demonstrated by scratch and indentation testing of TiN coated HSS. Surf. Eng. 16, 436 (2000).
S.D. McAdams, T.Y. Tsui, G.M. Pharr, and W.C. Oliver: Effects of interlayers in the scratch adhesion performance of ultra-thin films of copper and gold on silicon substrates, in Thin Films: Stresses and Mechanical Properties V, edited by S.P. Baker, C.A. Ross, P.H. Townsend, C.A. Volkert, and P. Børgesen (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 356, Pittsburgh, PA, 1995), p. 809.
P. Bertrand-Lambotte, J.L. Loubet, C. Verpy, and S. Pavan: Understanding of automotive clearcoats scratch resistance. Thin Solid Films 420, 281 (2002).
A. Karimi, Y. Wang, T. Cselle, and M. Morstein: Fracture mechanisms in nanoscale layered hard thin films. Thin Solid Films 420, 275 (2002).
B.J. Briscoe, E. Pelillo, and S.K. Sinha: Scratch hardness and deformation maps for polycarbonate and polyethylene. Polym. Eng. Sci. 36, 2996 (1996).
V.D. Jardret and W.C. Oliver: Viscoelastic behavior of polymer films during scratch test: A quantitative analysis, in Thin Films–Stresses and Mechanical Properties VIII, edited by R. Vinci, O. Kraft, N. Moody, P. Besser, and E. Shaffer II (Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 594, Warrendale, PA, 2000), p. 251.
The authors are grateful for financial support for this research from the National Science Foundation (DMR-0504781, Drs. A. Ardell, H.D. Chopra, and B.A. MacDonald, Program Managers). We also acknowledge the use of characterization facilities at the Center for Solid State Science at Arizona State University.
About this article
Cite this article
Singh, D.R., Chawla, N. Scratch resistance of Al/SiC metal/ceramic nanolaminates. Journal of Materials Research 27, 278–283 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2011.274