Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1621-1630

First online:

The influence of Zr layer thickness on contact deformation and fracture in a ZrN–Zr multilayer coating

  • Nisha VermaAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science Email author 
  • , Vikram JayaramAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science

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In order to understand the influence of ductile metal interlayer on the overall deformation behavior of metal/nitride multilayer, different configurations of metal and nitride layers were deposited and tested under indentation loading. To provide insight into the trends in deformation with multilayer spacings, an FEM model with elastic-perfect plastic metal layers alternate with an elastic nitride on top of an elastic–plastic substrate. The strong strain mismatch between the metal and nitride layers significantly alters the stress field under contact loading leading to micro-cracking in the nitride, large tensile stresses immediately below the contact, and a transition from columnar sliding in thin metal films to a more uniform bending and microcracking in thicker coatings.