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Refractory high/medium entropy nitrides (HENs/MENs) exhibit comprehensive application prospects as protective films on mechanical parts, particularly those subjected to sliding contacts at elevated temperatures. In this study, a new MEN system TiNbWN, forming a single fcc solution, is designed and its wear performance at temperatures ranging from 25 to 750 °C is explored. The wear mechanisms can be rationalized by examining the subsurface microstructural evolutions using the transmission electron microscopy as well as calculating the phase diagrams and interfacial adhesion behavior employing calculation of phase diagram (CALPHAD) and density functional theory (DFT). To be specific, increased wear losses occur in a temperature range of 25–600 °C, being predominantly caused by the thermally-induced hardness degradation; whereas at the ultimate temperature (750 °C), the wear loss is refrained due to the formation of nanocrystalline oxides (WnO3n−2, TiO2, and γTiOx), as synergistically revealed by microscopy and CALPHAD, which not only enhance the mechanical properties of the pristine nitride film, but also act as solid lubricants, reducing the interfacial adhesion. Thus, our work delineates the role of the in situ formed nanocrystalline oxides in the wear mechanism transition of TiNbWN thin films, which could shed light on the high-temperature wear behavior of refractory HEN/MEN films.


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High-temperature wear mechanisms of TiNbWN films: Role of nanocrystalline oxides formation

Show Author's information Leilei CHEN1,2Zhenyu ZHANG1( )Ming LOU2Kai XU2Lu WANG2Fanning MENG1Denis MUSIC3Keke CHANG2( )
Key Laboratory for Precision and Non-Traditional Machining Technology of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
Key Laboratory of Marine Materials and Related Technologies, Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Marine Materials and Protective Technologies, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201, China
Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics, Malmö University, Malmö 20506, Sweden

Abstract

Refractory high/medium entropy nitrides (HENs/MENs) exhibit comprehensive application prospects as protective films on mechanical parts, particularly those subjected to sliding contacts at elevated temperatures. In this study, a new MEN system TiNbWN, forming a single fcc solution, is designed and its wear performance at temperatures ranging from 25 to 750 °C is explored. The wear mechanisms can be rationalized by examining the subsurface microstructural evolutions using the transmission electron microscopy as well as calculating the phase diagrams and interfacial adhesion behavior employing calculation of phase diagram (CALPHAD) and density functional theory (DFT). To be specific, increased wear losses occur in a temperature range of 25–600 °C, being predominantly caused by the thermally-induced hardness degradation; whereas at the ultimate temperature (750 °C), the wear loss is refrained due to the formation of nanocrystalline oxides (WnO3n−2, TiO2, and γTiOx), as synergistically revealed by microscopy and CALPHAD, which not only enhance the mechanical properties of the pristine nitride film, but also act as solid lubricants, reducing the interfacial adhesion. Thus, our work delineates the role of the in situ formed nanocrystalline oxides in the wear mechanism transition of TiNbWN thin films, which could shed light on the high-temperature wear behavior of refractory HEN/MEN films.

Keywords: wear mechanisms, high/medium entropy nitrides (HENs/MENs), TiNbWN thin films, nanocrystalline oxides

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Publication history

Received: 12 January 2021
Revised: 22 February 2022
Accepted: 08 March 2022
Published: 18 July 2022
Issue date: March 2023

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© The author(s) 2022.

Acknowledgements

Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (52142501 and 52101026), the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0703400), Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LQ20E010004), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2021M693250), Ningbo 3315 Innovation Team (2019A-18-C), CAS PIFI program (2022VEA0005), and CAS Pioneer Hundred Talents Program are greatly acknowledged.

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