AISI 316L specimens were nitrided using a low temperature (390.,) plasma nitriding process and then coated with a thin layer of titanium nitride by closed field unbalanced magnetron sputtering. The microstructure, adhesion properties and hardness of the duplex-treated samples were examined using X-ray diffraction, scratch testing and nanoindentation, respectively. In addition, the tribological properties were investigated by means of reciprocating wear tests performed against 316L, Si3N4 and Ti6Al4V balls under a load of 10 N for 24 min in 0.9% NaCl solution. The electrochemical resistance of the samples was evaluated by potentiodynamic polarisation tests. Finally, the biocompatibility of the samples was investigated by seeding purified mouse leukemic monocyte macrophage cells (Raw 264.7) on the sample surface for one, three and five days, respectively. In general, the results showed that the duplex nitriding and titanium nitride coating process significantly improved the tribological properties, electrochemical resistance and biocompatibility of the AISI 316L samples.
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