Tribology Letters

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 155–160 | Cite as

Gradient DLC-Based Nanocomposite Coatings as a Solution to Improve Tribological Performance of Aluminum Alloy

  • Liping WangEmail author
  • Shanhong Wan
  • S. C. Wang
  • R. J. K. Wood
  • Q. J. Xue
Original Paper


The low hardness and poor tribological performance of aluminum alloy as moving component greatly restricts their wide applications in automotive fields. In this letter, an attempt to deposit gradient Ti/TiN/Si/(TiC/a-C:H) multi-layer on aluminum alloy is thus effectively performed by a combined arc ion plating and magnetron sputtering process based on the concept of involving coatings with a functionally graded interface. Multi-layered structure within DLC-based coatings has shown to significantly improve the load-bearing capacity, anti-wear and self-lubricating ability of Al alloys. The friction coefficient of gradient DLC-based coatings decreased to 0.18 under dry sliding condition while kept at 0.05 under the oil-lubricated conditions. The wear rate of gradient DLC multilayers was lower by two and even three orders of magnitude when compared with Al alloys both under dry wear and oil-lubricated conditions. Such gradient DLC-based coatings with good adhesion strength, high hardness, and excellent tribological performance are considered as potential protective surfaces of Al alloys for engine parts.


Aluminum alloy Diamond-like carbon coatings Graded and multilayer Friction Adhesion wear 



The authors are grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 50772115 & 50905178) and the 863 program of Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (No. 2009AA03Z105) for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shanhong Wan
    • 1
  • S. C. Wang
    • 2
  • R. J. K. Wood
    • 2
  • Q. J. Xue
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Solid LubricationLanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS), School of Engineering SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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