Many components experience sliding or rotating contact with other parts or with their environments. Their performance often degrades during service because their dimensions are altered by wear. Furthermore, the friction at the contact surface wastes energy. To mitigate these problems, hard coatings may be applied to contact surfaces to increase their wear resistance, and surfaces are often covered with a lubricant to reduce friction. At Ames National Laboratory, a nanocomposite boron-aluminum-magnesium ceramic alloy coating (AlMgB14 + TiB2) has been developed that provides a superhard, wear-resistant surface that also has an exceptionally low coefficient of friction. Tests show that these boride coatings offer a combination of wear resistance and low friction unmatched by other hard mate - rials (e.g., tungsten carbide, cubic boron nitride, or diamondlike carbon).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alan_russell/1/