Ultracoatings: Enabling Energy and Power Solutions in High Contact Stress Environments through next-generation Nanocoatings Final Technical Report

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A review of current commercially available, industrial-grade, low friction coatings will show that interfacial contact pressures nearing 1GPa ({approx}150ksi) inherently limit surface engineering solutions like WC, TiN, TiAlN, and so forth. Extremely hard coatings, then, are often pursued as the principle path, although they too are not without significant limitations. A majority of these compounds are inherently brittle in nature or may not pair well with their mating substrate. In either case, their durability in high contact stress environments is compromised. In parallel to thin film coatings, many conventional surface treatments do not yield an interface hard enough to withstand ... continued below

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III, Clifton B. Higdon March 20, 2012.

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A review of current commercially available, industrial-grade, low friction coatings will show that interfacial contact pressures nearing 1GPa ({approx}150ksi) inherently limit surface engineering solutions like WC, TiN, TiAlN, and so forth. Extremely hard coatings, then, are often pursued as the principle path, although they too are not without significant limitations. A majority of these compounds are inherently brittle in nature or may not pair well with their mating substrate. In either case, their durability in high contact stress environments is compromised. In parallel to thin film coatings, many conventional surface treatments do not yield an interface hard enough to withstand extreme stresses under load. New research into advanced, nanocomposite materials like (Ti, Zr)B2 shows great promise. Bulk compacts of this compound have demonstrated an order of magnitude better wear resistance than current offerings, notably materials like tungsten carbide. At a laboratory level, the (Ti,Zr)B2 nanocomposite material exhibited abrasive and erosive wear resistance nearly ten times better than existing mixed-phase boride systems. In ASTM abrasion and erosion testing, these new compositions exhibit wear resistance superior to other known advanced materials such as RocTec 500 and 'Borazon' cubic boron nitride. Many significant challenges exist for mass production of (Ti, Zr)B2, one of which is the necessary processing technology that is capable of minimizing deleterious impurity phases. Secondly, this material's performance is derived from a synergistic effect of the two materials existing as a single phase structure. While the individual constituents of TiB2 and ZrB2 do yield improvements to wear resistance, their singular effects are not as significant. Lastly, deposition of this material on a commercial level requires thorough knowledge of nanocomposite boride solids; the benefits associated with these innovative new materials are just being realized. Advancing this technology, called Ultracoatings, through initial development, scale up, and commercialization to a variety of markets would represent a transformative leap to surface engineering. Several application spaces were considered for immediate implementation of the Ultracoatings technology, including, but not limited to, a drive shaft for an aerospace fuel pump, engine timing components, and dry solids pump hardware for an innovative coal gasifier. The primary focus of the program was to evaluate and screen the performance of the selected (Ti, Zr)B2 Ultracoatings composition for future development. This process included synthesis of the material for physical vapor deposition, sputtering trials and coating characterization, friction and wear testing on sample coupons, and functional hardware testing. The main project deliverables used to gage the project's adherence to its original objective were: Development of a coating/substrate pairing that exhibits wear rate of 0.1 mg/hour or lower at a 1GPa contact pressure, while achieving a maximum coating cost of $0.10/cm2. Demonstrate the aforementioned wear rate in both lubricated and starved lubrication conditions. Although the (Ti, Zr) B2 coating was not tailored for low friction performance, friction and wear evaluations of the material demonstrated a coefficient of sliding friction as low as 0.09. This suggests that varying the percentage of TiB2 present in the composite could enhance the materials performance in water-based lubricants. In the aerospace drive shaft application, functional hardware coated with (Ti, Zr)B2 survived a variety of abuse and long-range durability tests, with contact pressures exceeding 2 GPa. For engine timing components, further work is planned to evaluate the Ultracoatings technology in direct injection and diesel engine conditions. In the final identified application space the dry solids pump hardware, discussions continue on the application of the Ultracoatings technology for those specific components. Full implementation of the technology into the targeted markets equates to a U.S.-based energy savings potential of over 100 trillion BTU per year by 2030. This exceeds the original projection of 60 TBTU/year by 2030.

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  • Report No.: DOE/EE0003490-1
  • Grant Number: EE0003490
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036950 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036950
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc829220

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  • March 20, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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III, Clifton B. Higdon. Ultracoatings: Enabling Energy and Power Solutions in High Contact Stress Environments through next-generation Nanocoatings Final Technical Report, report, March 20, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc829220/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.