Abstract

Lightweight metals like Aluminum are sought after in automotive and aerospace industries because of their high strength-to-weight ratio. However, one of the challenges of using Aluminum is its high Coefficient of friction (COF) and wear under shear loading. MoS2 coatings can be used to improve the tribological properties of Aluminum. However, such coatings have very low adhesion to Aluminum and are very oxidation-prone in air, which limits the use of the MoS2 coatings in room-temperature applications. Chromium has been used as a primer coating because of its corrosion resistivity and high adhesion with other metals when used as a thin film. In this work, the adhesion of coatings was improved by introducing an underlying Chromium layer between Aluminum and MoS2. It was stabilized by isolating it from the air using a thin top chromium layer. The Chromium underlayers and the MoS2 coatings were deposited using Physical Vapor Deposition (Sputtering). The MoS2 coatings help decrease the COF of Aluminum to 0.28 from 0.7. The Chromium underlayers help improve the durability of the MoS2 coating by two times without sacrificing the low COF. The chromium underlayers’ better adhesion helps adhere the MoS2 coating better to the substrate, hence the better durability of the coating. However, the Chromium top layer did not positively impact the durability and COF of the MoS2 coating.

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