Friction and wear characteristics of ion-beam modified graphite coatings.

BK Gupta, Jakob Janting, G. Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Solid lubricated surfaces are now widely used in the tool industry, and the new concept of 'soft tools' recently introduced has emphasized low-friction surfaces. The present paper deals with a novel 'burnishing' process based on ionic bombardment of powder graphite coating/substrate systems. This process may influence both the coating and the coating/substrate interface, and it is effective for improving lubrication even at low doses of bombarding ions. The present study will discuss the friction and wear properties of graphite-powder coatings on a silicon wafer bombarded with 200 keV ion beams of argon, nitrogen and hydrogen ions, the last two as molecular ions. The coefficients of friction and wear rates of the coatings were found to be strongly dependent on the ion-bombarding species and ion dose. The argon ion bombardment increased the coefficient of friction and wear rate of the powder coating. However, at the interface of the silicon substrate, the ion-induced burnishing improved the tribological behaviour of the silicon material. Bombardment with nitrogen and hydrogen ions showed a marked improvement in the tribological properties of the graphite powder coating. Thus a reduction in wear rate by three orders of magnitude was observed in the case of nitrogen, and for both ions it was noted that ion-beam burnished graphite was lubricating in a dry environment, which has not been reported previously. The perspectives of ion bombardment as a burnishing process will be discussed and the observed effects will be qualitatively explained in the context of the theory for ionic penetration into solids.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTribology International
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)139-143
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Burnishing
  • Friction
  • Graphite
  • Interfaces (materials)
  • Ion beams
  • Ions
  • Lubrication
  • Solid lubricants
  • Surfaces
  • Tribology
  • Wear of materials
  • Coatings
  • X
  • Friction coefficient
  • Ion beam modified graphite coatings
  • Ion bombardment
  • Ionic penetration theory
  • Silicon wafer
  • Soft tools
  • Solid lubricated surfaces
  • Wear rate
  • solid lubrication
  • ion bombardment
  • graphite


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