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Superhard carbon coatings for an improved energy efficiency
Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff und Strahltechnik IWS, Winterbergstr. 28, Dresden 01277, Germany
Rising prices for fossil fuels as well as the increasing effects of the climate change due to the emission of greenhouse gases reveal the necessity of saving energy. Within Europe especially the individual transport is in the focus of the public awareness. Therefore, the European commission has set ambitious goals in order to reduce the energy consumption and as a consequence the emission of CO2.
Low friction coatings have an enormous potential in saving energy. According to a recent study it is estimated that low friction coatings can save within the next ten years about 117 billion liters of fuel per year. This corresponds to savings of 290 million tons of CO2 emission.
Carbon based coatings – named as DLC coatings –are especially well suited for low friction coatings. In particular hydrogen-free tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) coatings are of great interest due to their extraordinary low wear properties. In addition they show excellent low friction properties and especially in combination with specific lubricants the so-called super low friction effect.
For the deposition of ta-C coatings PVD methods have to be applied instead of CVD methods as it is the case for conventional DLC coatings. We have developed a deposition method which is based on a pulsed arc steered by a laser (Laser-Arc). This allows us to use large cathodes resulting in a high long-term stability. Furthermore, the carbon plasma source can be combined with a filtering unit removing almost all droplets and particles, which usually are characteristic for an arc process. The resulting Laser-Arc source allows for the deposition of smooth and virtually defect-free ta-C coatings with a competitive deposition rate.
Due to its excellent technical parameters the Laser-Arc technology is increasingly used for industrial purposes especially in the automotive industry. Examples of applications as well as details of the deposited coatings will be given.
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Presentation: Invited Oral at Nano PL 2014, Symposium A, by Andreas Leson
See On-line Journal of Nano PL 2014
Submitted: 2014-07-22 15:33 Revised: 2014-11-18 14:02