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A superlattice coating (TiN/NbN) was evaluated and shown to successfully increase the rolling contact fatigue (RCF) performance of M-50 steel when tested on the Ball/Rod RCF tester at 3.4 GPa contact stress and a lambda condition of 0.7. The L10 life of the M-50 steel improved from 2 to 10 times when coated with the TiN/NbN superlattice coating. Lives of the coated M-50 specimens varied depending on the approximated thickness of the individual coating layers. Thinner layers resulted in better RCF performance. The superlattice coating consisted of alternating layers of TiN and NbN, deposited using an unbalance magnetron sputtering system. Due to the two fold symmetry of the cylindrical samples, the individual layers were not deposited in perfectly distinct layers.
Rolling Contact Fatigue, Superlattice Coating, M-50, Surface Modification, Bearing Steel
Material Research Supervisor, NTN Technical Center, (U.S.A.) Inc., Ann Arbor, MI