PVD Technology (Components)


Ongoing projects


Portrait photo Möbius © Copyright: Carl Brunn


Max Philip Möbius

Team Leader PVD-B


+49 241 80 95346



Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” - Subproject WS-B1.I „Integrated Computational Materials Engineering”

Short description:

Within the subproject WS-B1.I, a multilayer coating system for precise temperature measurement and control in production processes is being developed. The coating system consists of an actuator coating for heat generation, which is applied by TS, and a sensor coating, produced by PVD.

For this purpose, thin PVD layers will be functionalized in the course of the project. By introducing a sensor function, it is possible to measure the process temperature directly at the interface between the mold and the molten aluminum with spatial and temporal resolution in the aluminum die casting process as the use case. The measurement signal is passed on to the TS heating layer in order to specifically control the process. At the same time, the PVD layer offers properties for wear protection of the applied tools. A digital shadow is used to view and control the coating process in detail in order to specifically set the properties required for the application.

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project number: EXC 2023/1
Duration: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2025

CHEPHREN – Chemical-physical friction energy reduction project

Short description:

As part of the IOT sub-project, tribologically effective coatings are being fundamentally researched in the CHEPHREN joint project and further developed to achieve ultra-low and supra-low friction. This work provides the starting point for transferring the findings to the project partners' applications and thus enables the ecological and economic goals to be achieved and implemented in the long term. To this end, components of the project partners – such as gears, chains and bearing components – are coated. The first goal of the IOT sub-project is the adaptation of triboactive (Cr,Al,X)N coatings (X = Mo, Cu), which can lead to the formation of friction- and wear-reducing tribochemical reaction layers under tribological stress with lubricant additives. Parallel to the development of coatings for steel materials, engineering plastics are also considered as substrate materials in order to enable their usage for higher tribological stresses. The second goal of the coating development is the integration of sensor functions. For this purpose, temperature sensor coatings are produced and tested based on existing findings. A knowledge-based approach based on artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of artificial neural networks (ANN) is chosen as a tool for further coating development. In the long term, this leads to the expectation of more targeted and faster coating development compared to iterative approaches, which represent the state of the art in research and technology.

Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Project number: 03EN4005J, 03EN4029J
Duration: September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2024


Analysis of transfer layer formation in initially lubricated coated drive chains

Short description:

Chains are a common machine element in drive and conveying technology. Current efforts to increase energy efficiency and sustainability are intended to exploit the still open potential. To increase sustainability, the aim is to increase the service life while reducing the use of lubricant. The service life is determined by the chain’s elongation, which is caused by wear between the chain pin and bush in the chain joint. The use of a triboactive (Cr,Al,X)N coatings (X = Mo, Cu) is intended to reduce wear in the chain joint despite one-time initial lubrication at the start of operation. The triboactive coating interacts with the lubricating grease and forms a reaction layer which is transferred to the counter surface inside of the chain bush and thus protects it from wear. Furthermore, a large part of the frictional losses, which significantly influence the energy efficiency of the entire chain, occurs in the contact zone between pin and bush. The reaction and transfer layer formed is intended to also have friction-reducing properties and to increase the energy efficiency of the drive chain. For this purpose, the solid lubricant MoS2 is formed in interaction between the coating and lubricant.

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project number: BO1979/81-1
Duration: May 1, 2021 to October 31, 2023


Durability of friction-reducing Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coatings for gears

Short description:

The demands on technical systems in terms of energy efficiency and climate protection are constantly increasing, especially in the field of mobility and plant engineering. To fully exploit the friction- and wear-reducing potential of DLC-coated gears in industrial applications, it is necessary to increase the durability and make DLC coatings usable for industrial applications. Only the integrated consideration of all influencing variables that are decisive for the durability of coated gears is considered to be target-oriented: Substrate materials, surface pre-treatment and heat treatment, coating parameters and gear geometry. The industrially established surface pre-treatment for gears is grinding. However, this surface quality leads to insufficient adhesion of the DLC coatings. Therefore, crosswise ground as well as vibratory ground and polished surfaces are investigated in the project. The adaptation of the heat treatment is closely linked to the selection of alternative substrate materials such as the quenched and tempered steel 42CrMo4 or the nitrided steel 15CrMoV5-9. The higher tempering temperatures allow higher temperatures in the PVD process in addition to nitriding. The adjustment of individual coating parameters is carried out in the overall context of the systematic consideration of these influencing variables. The tribological analysis of the coated samples is carried out at IOT and the Gear Research Centre (FZG) at the Technical University of Munich .


Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsgemeinschaften (AiF)

Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e.V. (FVA)

Project number: IGF 21103 N/FVA 585 III
Duration: July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023


Investigation of high speed PVD technology concerning the deposition of
α-Al-O+X and Al-Ti-O+X coatings for die casting of high melting steel alloys II

Short description:

The project BO 1979/42-1 showed that the deposition of thick, oxide based hard coatings is possible by high speed physical vapour deposition (HS-PVD) technology, due to high coating thickness, smax = 88 µm. In addition to processes for the deposition of amorphous and crystalline (Al,Cr)2O3 and Al-Ti-O coatings, a process concerning the deposition of industrially relevant α-like (Al,Cr)2O3 was developed. Especially, the achieved structure of the deposited α-like (Al,Cr)2O3 coating with high aluminum content and substrate temperatures of TS = 570 °C still represents a great challenge for conventional PVD technologies today. The overall objective of the project BO1979/42-3 is the detailed investigation and adaption of the α-like (Al,Cr)2O3 and Ti-Al-O coatings, which were deposited for the first time by HS-PVD technology in BO1979/42-1. Therefore, processes concerning the deposition of α-(Al,Cr)2O3 and Al2TiO5 coatings with high aluminum contents will be defined. Moreover, the influence of interlayer thickness and chemical composition on compound adhesion is investigated, in order to increase adhesion between substrate and oxide hard coating. The application-oriented development of the coatings is possible by the results of thermocyclic annealing tests in ambient air, isothermal annealing tests in vacuum and ambient air as well as immersion tests in steel melt.

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project number: BO1979/42-3
Duration: June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2023