In vitro corrosion and tribocorrosion performance of biocompatible carbide coatings

Iulian Pana, Alina Vladescu, Lidia R. Constantin, Ioan G. Sandu, Mihaela Dinu, Cosmin M. Cotrut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study aims to explain the corrosion and the tribocorrosion performance in simulated conditions of the human body by the level of stress, adhesion of coating to substrate, roughness, and hardness. The coatings were synthesized by the cathodic arc evaporation method on 316L stainless steel substrates to be used for load bearing implants. Structure, elemental, and phase compositions were studied by means of energy dispersive spectrometry and X-ray diffraction, respectively. The grain size and strain of the coatings were determined by the Williamson-Hall plot method. Tests on hardness, adhesion, roughness, and electrochemical behavior in 0.9% NaCl solution at 37 ± 0.5 °C were carried out. Tribocorrosion performances, evaluated by measuring the friction coefficient and wear rate, were conducted in 0.9% NaCl solution using the pin on disc method at 37 ± 0.5 °C. TiC and ZrC exhibited a (111) preferred orientation, while TiNbC had a (200) orientation and the smallest crystallite size (8.1 nm). TiC was rougher than ZrC and TiNbC; the lowest roughness was found for TiNbC coatings. The highest hardness and adhesion values were found for TiNbC, followed by TiC and the ZrC. All coatings improved the corrosion resistance of 316L steels, but TiNbC showed the best corrosion behavior. TiNbC had the lowest friction coefficient (1.6) and wear rate (0.99 x 10-5 mm3N-1m-1) values, indicating the best tribocorrosive performance in 0.9% NaCl at 37 ± 0.5 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Article number654
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Cathodic arc evaporation
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Friction and wear
  • TiNbC coatings
  • Tribocorrosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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