The stainless steels, in general, are considered to be difficult-to-machine materials. In order to machine these materials the surface of the tool is generally coated with physical vapour deposition (PVD) hard coatings such as titanium nitride (TiN), titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN), etc. The adhesion is of vital importance for the performance of tools coated with PVD coatings. Proper surface treatments (in situ and ex situ) are required to achieve highly adherent PVD coatings on tools. We have deposited nanostructured TiN coatings on high-speed steel (HSS) drill bits and mild steel substrates using an indigenously built semi-industrial fourcathode reactive direct current (d.c.) unbalanced magnetron sputtering system. Various treatments have been given to the substrates for improved adhesion of the TiN coatings. The process parameters have been optimized to achieve highly adherent thick good quality TiN coatings. These coatings have been characterized using X-ray diffraction, nanoindentation and atomic force microscopy techniques. The performance of the coated HSS drill bits is evaluated by drilling a 13 mm thick 304 stainless steel plate under wet conditions. The results show significant improvement in the performance of the TiN coated HSS drill bits.
Volume 43, 2020
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