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Factors governing the mechanical behaviour of CrSiN coatings: Combined nanoindentation testing and transmission electron microscopy

Wo, P.C., Munroe, P.R., Li, Z., Jiang, Z-T, Xie, Z.H., Zhou, Z.F. and Li, K.Y. (2012) Factors governing the mechanical behaviour of CrSiN coatings: Combined nanoindentation testing and transmission electron microscopy. Materials Science and Engineering: A, 534 . pp. 297-308.

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    Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2011.11.072
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    Abstract

    A direct link between the microstructure and mechanical properties of CrSiN coatings with varying Si contents
    was established by examining their microstructural evolution and deformation behaviour, enabled
    by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. A transformation from a columnar-grained structure,
    in the binary compound, to a nanocomposite structure, consisting of CrN nanocrystallites embedded
    in an amorphous matrix, was observed in the coating having a Si content of 28.5 at.%. The columnarstructured
    coatings were observed to deform by grain boundary shear sliding, whilst cracks occurred
    in nanocomposite coatings. Moreover, the coating having a Si content of 14.3 at.% exhibited the highest
    hardness as a result of grain boundary strengthening facilitated by Si3N4 segregation, together with solid
    solution strengthening of Si in CrN, the Hall–Petch effect for the finer CrN grains and a high compressive
    residual stress. A further increase of Si content to 28.5 at.% led to a reduction in hardness due to the high
    volume fraction of the amorphous phase, together with the presence of cracks in the as-deposited coating.
    The findings provide deeper insight into the origin of the mechanical behaviour of CrSiN coatings.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Copyright: © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6503
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