Hard coatings have potential for increasing gear surface fatigue lives. Experiments were conducted using gears both with and without a metal-containing, carbon-based coating. The gears were case-carburized AISI 9310 steel spur gears. Some gears were provided with the coating by magnetron sputtering. Lives were evaluated by accelerated life tests. For uncoated gears, all of fifteen tests resulted in fatigue failure before completing 275 million revolutions. For coated gears, eleven of the fourteen tests were suspended with no fatigue failure after 275 million revolutions. The improved life owing to the coating, approximately a six-fold increase, was a statistically significant result.

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