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Nanocrystalline coatings of niobium-based compounds, applied to quality improvement in industrial tools

Grant number: 10/16186-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2011
Effective date (End): July 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Transformation Metallurgy
Principal researcher:Rafael Agnelli Mesquita
Grantee:Rafael Agnelli Mesquita
Host: Christopher A. Schuh
Home Institution: Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE). Campus Memorial. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States  


Performance aspects in cutting tools, molds and dies is today an important issue to various industrial processes, and the studies on surface engineering are an important filed for development. From the traditional PVD coatings based on TiN, developed more than 30 years ago, new distributions of nanometric phases have emerged, pointing to relevant potential benefits. Within the possibilities of these compounds, niobium is recognized as a strong carbide and nitride forming element, but the use of niobium compounds in coatings is very restricted and has practically no industrial application. Of special remark is the development of new complex coatings, with hard phases dispersed in a diamond-like carbon matrix (DLC) or in metallic matrixes, being the dispersed phases based on titanium nitride or tungsten carbide compounds. Therefore, the present project aims to evaluate the application of PVD coatings of Nb hard compounds, especially NbC. These compounds will be applied as monolayers or dispersion of nanometric particles in a nickel matrix, aiming the application on industrial tools. The characterization will be based on nanoindentation, either in room or high temperature, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy on FIB (focused ion beam) extracted samples and atom probe tomography, being all these techniques available in the Materials Science Departmant of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Through the combination of these techniques, a relationship between microstructure and properties of several coatings is expected to be established, thus orienting the best phase combinations to be applied in tools, molds and dies. (AU)

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