In Fridays edition of Applied Physics, TU Delft researchers will publish an article on how coatings are made and why they so often let go. “Finally, after 30 years, we know exactly what happens,” says Dr. Guido Janssen, materials expert at TU Delft and first author of the article to be printed in the prestigious American journal. Together with his colleagues at the Netherlands Institute for Metals Research (NIMR), he has brought the coating of very small components one step closer.
Taps, valves in a diesel motor or electrical components, many objects are coated. These thin layers can provide a certain visual enhancements, such as a reflective surface. They can also protect the coated material from being damaged. Janssen: “The problem is that in some cases, these coatings start to detach from the base material. The tap becomes ugly and the diesel valve is damaged, causing the engine to run less efficiently.”
The delamination of coatings is caused by tension forces within in the coatings. The atoms in the coating exert ‘pulling’ forces on one another, thereby finally pulling each other off the base material. Janssen: “This is a large problem within the mechatronics (mechanics combined with electronics) field, where the thickness of the coating often accounts for 10% of the total material thickness. The same tension is responsible for causing electronic chips to warp, and is it one of the that make it difficult to continuously develop more complex chips.”
Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
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