Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Tribological Behaviour of K340 Steel PVD Coated with CrAlSiN Versus Popular Tool Steel Grades

Version 1 : Received: 21 September 2020 / Approved: 21 September 2020 / Online: 21 September 2020 (12:02:17 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Drozd, K.; Walczak, M.; Szala, M.; Gancarczyk, K. Tribological Behavior of AlCrSiN-Coated Tool Steel K340 Versus Popular Tool Steel Grades. Materials 2020, 13, 4895. Drozd, K.; Walczak, M.; Szala, M.; Gancarczyk, K. Tribological Behavior of AlCrSiN-Coated Tool Steel K340 Versus Popular Tool Steel Grades. Materials 2020, 13, 4895.


The tribological performance of metalwork steel tools is of vital importance in both cold and hot working processes. One solution for improving metal tool life is the application of coatings. This paper investigates the effect of CrAlSiN thin-film PVD-deposition on the tribological behaviour of tool steel K340. The sliding wear performance of the coated K340 steel is analysed in relation to both the uncoated K340 steel and a range of tool steels dedicated to hot- and cold-working, such as X155CrVMo12-1, X37CrMoV5-1, X40CrMoV5-1, 40CrMnMo7 and 90MnCrV8. The investigated tool steels were heat-treated, while K340 was subjected to thermochemical treatment and then coated with a CrAlSiN hard film (K340/CrAlSiN). The hardness, chemical composition, phase structure and microstructure of steels K340 and K340/CrAlSiN are examined. Tribological tests were conducted using the ball-on-disc tester in compliance with the ASTM G99 standard. The tests were performed under dry unidirectional sliding conditions, using an Al2O3 ball as a counterbody. The wear factor and coefficient of friction are estimated and analysed with respect to hardness and alloying composition of the materials under study. SEM observations are made to identify the sliding wear mechanisms of the analysed tool steels and PVD-coated K340 steel. In contrast to the harsh abrasive-adhesive wear mechanism observed for uncoated tool steels, the abrasive wear dominates in case of the AlCrSiN. The deposited thin film effectively prevents the K304 substrate from harsh wear severe degradation. Moreover, thanks to the deposited coating, the K304/CrAlSiN sample has a COF of 0.529 and a wear factor of K=5.68×10−7 m3 N−1 m−1, while the COF of the reference tool steels ranges from 0.702 to 0.885 and their wear factor ranges from 1.68×10−5 m3 N−1 m−1 to 3.67×10−5 m3 N−1 m−1. The CrAlSiN deposition reduces the wear of the K340 steel and improves its sliding properties, which makes it a promising method for prolonging the service life of metalwork tools.


cold/hot-work steel; sliding; friction; wear testing; XRD analysis; wear mechanism; hardness; heat treatment; thin film; abrasion


Chemistry and Materials Science, Materials Science and Technology

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