On the Electro-Tribological Properties and Degradation Resistance of Silver-Aluminum Coatings
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Electrical Contact Resistance
Contact materials in sliding electrical applications must possess low electrical contact resistance, low friction and wear coefficients, and high degradation resistance to the surrounding media. Silver coatings are commonly used in such applications despite their shortcomings. This work has focused on the study of alternative silver-aluminum coatings deposited by PVD. The main findings include the strong dependence of the tribological performance on the concentration of Al and hence the phases present in the coatings. Besides, the wear mechanism was found to be affected by the working media, either on air or insulating oil. Results have shown that for full HCP phase coatings (Ag67Al33), wear rates are lowest, with no adhesive wear and good surface sulphidation resistance, though with some proclivity to oxidation, coupled with a moderate increase in the electrical contact resistance.