Tribology Letters

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 751–756 | Cite as

A New Low Friction Concept for High Temperatures: Lubricious Oxide Formation on Sputtered VN Coatings

  • G. Gassner
  • P.H. Mayrhofer
  • K. Kutschej
  • C. Mitterer
  • M. Kathrein


The binary system of vanadium and nitrogen offers promising phases in order to enhance the tribological properties of common hard coatings, owing to their ability to form lubricious oxides, often also referred to as Magnéli phases, at elevated temperatures. The aim of this work is to characterize VN coatings prepared by reactive unbalanced magnetron sputtering, and to verify the new concept of solid/liquid oxide lubrication. Oxidation of the coatings and possible melting of the oxides were investigated by dynamic Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) up to 900 °C in air. On heating the coating samples, exothermal reactions appeared during the DSC measurements indicating oxidation in the temperature range of 500–650 °C. Subsequently, endothermal melting reactions were observed between 650 and 850 °C. To investigate the effect of oxide formation and melting, dry sliding experiments against alumina and austenitic stainless steel balls were performed using a ball-on-disc tribometer in the temperature range between 25 °C and 700 °C. For all coatings evaluated, a significant decrease of the friction coefficient at temperatures above 500 °C was observed compared to room temperature. Additionally, oxide phases were identified by X-ray Diffraction (XRD) after DSC and tribometer testing. Finally, it can be concluded that the lubricious oxide concept should strongly contribute to the reduction of friction for future machining applications.

magnéli lubrication differential scanning calorimetry dry sliding 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Gassner
    • 1
  • P.H. Mayrhofer
    • 2
  • K. Kutschej
    • 1
  • C. Mitterer
    • 2
  • M. Kathrein
    • 3
  1. 1.Materials Center LeobenLeobenAustria
  2. 2.Department of Physical Metallurgy and Materials TestingUniversity of LeobenLeobenAustria
  3. 3.CERATIZIT AGReutteAustria

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