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Published by: PRASAD326 on Feb 24, 2009
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Adherence of coatings to the substrate or of layers of multi-layer coatings
to each other, described by the force necessary to detach the coating from
the substrate or layers from each other, reflects the character of the domi-
nating bond:

- metallurgical - consisting of melt-mixing of the coating and subsur-
face zone materials (e.g., in cladded and alloying coatings);
- epitaxial - consisting in the formation of coating crystals, similarly
oriented relative in each other, on the crystals of the substrate, on condi-
tion that the difference in lattice parameters will not be bigger than approx.
10%. Epitaxy plays a major role in the process of coating crystallization in
need conditions (in electro-chemical processes and in PVD);
- adhesive - consisting of the utilization of adhesion of the coating to a
well-cleaned substrate (e.g., in paint, electroplated and crystallization coat-
ings); adhesion may be utilized in cold or hot bonding of coatings to sub-
strates, combined with significant deformations; often adhesion follows the
formation of a proadhesive compound (intermediate layer). On steel, for ex-
ample, such a compound may be FeTiO

- diffusion - consisting of mutual displacement, through diffusion of com-
ponents of the coating and the substrate. This occurs very seldom. Examples
are some immersion and crystallizing coatings;
- mechanical - consisting of creation of conditions in the substrate (e.g., by
dovetail knurling) for mechanical anchoring of coating material. This version
occurs in some thermal spray techniques.
Naturally, combinations of the above types of bonding are also pos-
sible, e.g., adhesion-diffusion or mechanical-adhesive.
In all cases, the condition essential for good adherence of coatings to
their substrates is high purity of the substrate surface prior to deposition
of coating. Surface purity is understood here not only as the absence of
greases, dust and other contaminants, but also as the removal from the sub-
strate of all adsorbed compounds and layers of a non-metallic character, i.e.,
oxides, sulfides and other products of corrosion. Only then will adherence of
the coating to the substrate be optimum, since it is dependent on the inter-
atomic character of binding forces.
Theoretically, best adherence can only be achieved when the distance
between the coating and the substrate is comparable to lattice param-
eters, i.e. when the crystalline structure of the coating is an extension of
that of the substrate. Such an “extension of structure” is possible when
lattice parameters of the substrate and the coating differ by not more than
–2.4 to 12.5%. An adherence approaching the optimum can be achieved with

© 1999 by CRC Press LLC

very thorough cleaning of the substrate before depositing the coating. If the
substrate is very well cleaned mechanically and, in particular, chemically,
the adherence of a coating may approach the value equal to that of tensile
strength of the weaker of the two materials, e.g., for a copper coating on steel,
this adherence would be 300 to 400 MPa, i.e., equal or higher than tensile
strength of copper [43].
It is thought that the adherence of a coating to substrate is better
when the mutual solid solubility of coating and substrate components
allows the formation of thin diffusion layers between substrate and coat-
ing [55].

Adherence of coating to substrate is affected, besides surface purity,
by: residual stresses, degree of surface development (higher roughness -
better adherence), as well as by differences in the ductility of surface and
substrate materials. This is especially significant when the coated object is
subjected to strong mechanical deformations [4].
Good adherence of coatings prevents their scaling and detachment
due to temperature, strong internal interaction of a mainly mechanical
character and residual stresses.

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