The main objective of this investigation is the evaluation of the performance of hard diamond-like-carbon (DLC) or tungsten carbide (WC) and soft (epoxy composite) dual-coatings on the internal combustion (IC) engine piston rings as a protective coating to reduce their wear. The rings were coated with DLC or WC by physical vapor deposition (PVD) method and then soft polymeric composite coating (epoxy/graphene/base oil SN150) was applied on the hard coating. The tribological tests of the dual-coated piston rings were conducted for 3.6 × 105 cycles at 1500 rpm engine speed and 50% rated load of a diesel engine in order to evaluate the wear performance of the piston rings. Scuffing of cylinder liner and piston rings interface was prevented by the application of polymer composites over the hard-coated rings. DLC hard and soft polymer composite dual coating over the top piston ring was found to have the lowest wear rate 1.69 × 10−12 mm3/N·m compared with the wear rate of dual coatings on the middle and lower rings.

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