In this study the microstructure and wear characteristics of uncoated, TiAlN, AlCrN, and TiCN multilayer coated AISI 410 stainless steel. Tribological properties of the coatings were investigated by high carbon steel ball friction in dry sliding, sliding velocity of 0.3927 m s−1, sliding distance of 248.43 m, and under a load range of 2–4 N at room temperature. Among all the multilayer coatings tested, TiCN gave the superior wear resistance, followed by TiAlN and AlCrN. This indicates that the presence of C in TiCN coating leads to increase the wear resistance. At 2–3 N load in which oxidation was present, AlCrN coating shows the excellent wear resistance followed by TiAlN and TiCN coatings. The coating with a TiAlN proved good to acceptable wear resistance between 3 N and 4 N load. The wear rates and worn surfaces were investigated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) attachment), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Talysurf profilometry analysis, which demonstrate that the grooved regions, pits, ploughing ridge, and cavities were found along the worn surface of the uncoated, TiAlN, and AlCrN coated surface. This result exposed that hard-coated particles were observed on the high carbon steel ball surface.

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