Frank Papa1, *Troy vom Braucke1, Nick Bierwisch2, Norbert Schwarzer2
1GP Plasma, Medina, OH; 2Saxonian Institute of Surface Mechanics SIO, Rügen, Germany
Understanding and controlling thin film coating properties and stress states is a challenge becoming more relevant by the day. As the performance requirements for engineered surfaces become more demanding, coating solutions are becoming more complex. As a result, understanding functional application requirements, simulation of the system and designing engineered solutions are becoming more important. Many software modelling systems exist using techniques such as finite element analysis, which can provide insight into engineered solutions but rely on iteratively optimized models and inputs to steer the model toward reality and can take hours or days to set up and are slow to calculate results. Coating hardness, average stress and critical scratch loads are commonly used to “compare” coating properties. However, more valuable information such as young’s modulus, yield strength and stress profiles are missing. With such information and the proper simulation tool, engineered coating systems can be dissected without guesswork and can be optimized to meet the application requirements. We offer simple, fast and inexpensive tools for thin film coating system optimization using data from nano/micro-indenters and scratch testers. Design and optimization routines can look at many coating parameters simultaneously and offer solutions in minutes to seconds running on your laptop.