Ryan D. Evans, The Timken Company, North Canton, OH
The application of engineered thin film coatings on machine components to enhance tribological performance and durability is not new. However, with the benefit of 20 years of R&D and industrial field experience, a journey from early stage development of a-C:H:W coatings on rolling element bearings to initial product launch to mature field experience is reviewed. As the use of these layers continues to increase on one hand, competitive surface treatment technologies such as black oxide are emerging in wear-critical applications in parallel. Referring to the 2020 Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Emerging Trends report, some future machine technology and tribology trends are identified and perspectives on the potential application of wear-resistant thin film coatings in those areas are shared.