Intelligent functional coatings for increasing structures and components wear resistance

Project duration

2006 - 2008

Project Category


Contact Information

prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin


  • Institut Jožef Stefan (Slovenia)

Aim of the project was to research the possibilities of using modern surface engineering techniques (physical and vacuum processes, plasma nitrating, plasma surface treatment) for improving tribological and corrosion properties of construction materials. Our focus was on applying functional coatings for reducing wear, corrosion, friction or wetting of surfaces.

The proposed project included the following areas of application of surface engineering processes:

  • Tribological PVD coatings for the protection of machine parts,
  • Corrosion-resistant PVD coatings,
  • Hydrophobic PVD coatings for reduction of wettability and plasma treatments for increase in wettability,
  • Replacement of electrochemical surface-protection processes with PVD processes.

In order to reduce the weight of military transport vehicles and equipment, the traditional steel and cast iron machine parts are more often replaced by parts made of light-metal alloys (aluminum, magnesium, titanium). Although these materials are tough, they are not hard and therefore their tribological properties do not meet the high standards set by the military industry. Solution to this problem is hardening and protection of surfaces of these materials with various surface engineering processes.