To tackle wear, friction and corrosion of mechanical components there is another ally in the battle – nanoscience.

In particular, nanocomposite coatings, generally referred to as thin-film coatings. Perhaps, fittingly, in the battle to protect mechanical components, many of the technological advancements were developed in war time.

The article below by Olivia Fey and Mike Greenwald, featured in Gear Technology magazine, takes us through these developments to where we are now.

From the optics-led advancements of World War 2 to the post war progress in thin-film deposition techniques, to the semi-conductor industry driving thin-film advancements and recent breakthroughs.
The 20th century saw a wide range of coating materials developed and then in this century, the convergence of this with nanotechnology.

The evolution has now resulted in diamond-like carbon coatings (DLC). These exhibit a number of exceptional properties which the article below details from hardness and wear resistance to tribological performance, chemical inertness, adhesion, coating integrity, biocompatibility and biofunctionality.
They explain how these properties protect mechanical components in applications such as:-
Electrical transmissions – efficiency, reliability and sustainability
Industrial gearbox systems – productivity, reliability and maintenance optimisation.

Finally, the article outlines advanced applications and emerging trends in DLC coatings as well as the challenges and future direction of DLC technology.