The mechanical properties of TiN films deposited on carbon steel JIS S45C by reactive dc magnetron sputtering under three sputtering gas pressures, 0.5Pa, 0.8Pa, and 1.76Pa were investigated. The residual stress once increased and then decreased with increasing bias voltage at 0.5Pa and 0.8Pa, but increased monotonously at 1.76Pa. These variations could be explained by the variations of the bombarding energy of a sputtered ion at each gas pressure. The variations of hardness and toughness correlated with the variation of residual stress. The variation of adhesive strength also could be explained by the variation of the bombarding energy with a model proposed in this study. A specific wear rate was also investigated, and it was found that to increase not only the hardness but also the adhesive strength is necessary to improve the wear resistance of TiN films.

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