Vacuum arc deposition of MoS2/ta-C coatings and mechanical-tribological testing (LUBRICOAT)
Solid lubricants, especially transition metal dichalcogenides, including the most popular representative MoS2, are the only solution when liquid lubricants cannot be used, for example in mechanics in critical production areas such as in the food industry, in machines running in vacuum or in space applications. These substances have been researched for decades, also in coating technology, and now some solutions based on them are in industrial use. Nevertheless, they have so far been limited to a few niche applications. The reason for this is that solid lubricants are inherently soft and wear out quickly. Doping with other elements can improve their hardness but compromise their lubricity. A breakthrough in applicability would be achieved if the coatings could be made significantly more robust and also less sensitive to external influences such as humidity.
The main objective of the collaborative project is the simulation-based development of ultra-hard solid lubricant coatings that exhibit low friction under various sliding conditions. Fraunhofer IWS focuses on the combined deposition of extremely hard diamond-like carbon coatings (ta-C) with solid lubricant (MoS2) using Laser-Arc technology. Different hybrid layer concepts are investigated and the generated layer variants are characterized in structural, mechanical and tribological aspects. This also includes vacuum tribological investigations.