Ceramic coatings have been proven to be a good choice for preventing the base material from wear, corrosion, erosion and other unfavourable damage. In the field of thin solid films ( < 10 μm), titanium nitride (TiN) is still the most widely accepted in engineering applications. Over the last years, chromium-base (Cr-base) coated tools have come onto the market. Consequently, deeper knowledge of Cr-base coatings is indeed required. Therefore, we conducted a series of experiments to assess the potential of chromium nitride (CrN) and chromium carbonitride (Cr(C,N)) coatings. For comparison, TiN was also studied under identical conditions. The results showed that the surface micro-hardness of 10 μm CrN was the highest and the tribological performance of CrN and Cr(C,N) was excellent. Thus, CrN is expected to have potential to replace TiN in terms of wear resistance.
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