Effects of partial pressure of methane on deposition rate, hardness, bonding strength and friction coefficient of TiAlN/TiAlC0.37N0.63 multilayer coating were investigated. The TiAlN coating was deposited at a N2 flow rate of 70 sccm, and TiAlC0.37N0.63 coating were deposited at a N2 flow rate of 35 sccm and a CH4 flow rate of 35 sccm. TiAlN/TiAlC0.37N0.63 multilayer coatings with different modulation periods but the same total thickness of 3.56 μm were deposited on high speed steel (HSS) substrates using multi-arc ion plating technology. Microhardness and tribological measurement show that the multilayer coating with a modulating ratio of 1:1 and a modulation period of 68 nm had a hardness of 2793.9 HV0.10, an excellent bonding strength of 52 N, and the minimum friction coefficient of 0.46 and a relatively low wear rate.

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