Scratch resistance of Al/SiC metal/ceramic nanolaminates


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.

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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.

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Correspondence to Nikhilesh Chawla.

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Singh, D.R., Chawla, N. Scratch resistance of Al/SiC metal/ceramic nanolaminates. Journal of Materials Research 27, 278–283 (2012).

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