Skip navigation

The topics of friction, lubrication and wear are becoming increasingly important against the background of environmental and climate protection, energy efficiency and electric mobility. The research focus of the department of surface technology is therefore the development of tribological functional coatings. On the one hand, this includes novel friction-reducing hard material coatings to increase energy efficiency and the service life of transmission components, especially for rolling bearings and gears. On the other hand, tribological functional coatings are also used for coating high-performance cutting and forming tools. For cutting tools, the development goals are dry machining, hard machining, tools for workpiece materials that are difficult to machine, and increasing the cutting path and metal removal rate. For forming tools, the focus is on dry machining, increasing tool life and workpiece quality.


PDV processes enable the deposition of a very wide range of metallic and non-metallic coating materials. Reactive PVD processes can also be used to incorporate light elements such as nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, but also boron or hydrogen into the layers, so that in combination with metallic target materials such as titanium, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, zirconium, tungsten, aluminium etc., the corresponding nitrides, carbides, oxides or borides can also be deposited. In this way, an almost unlimited number of different hard materials can be deposited using PVD processes. This includes in particular also purely covalently bonded hard materials such as diamond or diamond-like amorphous carbon layers.  <o:p></o:p>

In the field of friction-reducing coatings for rolling bearing rings and gears, the Surface Technology Department works on the further development of hydrogen-containing amorphous carbon coatings (a-C:H) as well as on the development of novel self-lubricating hard material coating systems based on various PVD solid lubricant coatings in combination with transition metal nitride coatings (TiAlN, CrAlN, ...). Besides layer composition and layer build-up, the tribology can also be influenced by setting defined surface topographies in the micrometer range. The microstructuring of the layers or substrates before coating is carried out in close cooperation with the Laboratory for Micromachining as well as with partner institutes in the field of laser processing.<o:p></o:p>

The trend towards the increasing integration of further functions such as corrosion protection, electrical, optical, acoustic or antimicrobial properties in functionalized surfaces of tools and machine elements also continuously leads to new research topics. Further research areas of the department of surface technology are new metallic alloys produced by PVD processes, corrosion research and sol-gel coating processes.