What is it about?

This study focuses on the potential of surface hardening of steels, previously coated by several micrometers thick ceramic nitride-based coatings, by an industrial laser. This would allow to create a rigid support for the brittle ceramic coating after its deposition and not before, as other surface treatments do.

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Why is it important?

The results suggest that laser surface hardening has a potential to increase the lifetime of the machine parts/tools with previously deposited ceramic coatings. In contrast to other surface treatment technologies (i.e., nitriding) laser surface hardening is less time consuming and less sensitive to the chemical composition of the substrate (e.g., nitriding may barely be applied in the case of a carbon steel substrate, but surface laser hardening can). All-in-all, it may help to expand the usage of ceramic coatings and through that help to increase the problem-free exploitation time of different mechanisms (e.g., car engines), as well as to make certain production processes (e.g., CNC machining) less expensive.


Further research is necessary to show, whether laser surface hardening also allows to improve the resistance of the ceramic coatings to dynamic loads (i.e., impacts), and how laser irradiation affects the coatings themselves.

Mr. Andrei G. Surzhenkov
Tallinn University of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effect of laser heat treatment on AlxTi1-xN-based PVD coatings, deposited on carbon and tool steel substrates, Surface and Coatings Technology, September 2022, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2022.128771.
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