My research focuses on hard, wear resistant coatings used for example by the tooling industry. Many tools for metal machining are covered with a thin layer (1-10 µm) of a hard material that increases the lifetime of the tool substantially. During metal machining, the tool is exposed to both high temperatures and pressures and the tool surface is worn when hard particles in the the chip slides across the surface. Coatings with high temperature stability and wear resistance are required to enhance the cutting performance and increase the cutting speed while reducing the need for cooling fluids.
To find materials that have a high wear resistance and that can be used at high temperatures an increased knowledge of the material behavior of the tool during use is needed. I use a combination of several experimental techniques to study the coating properties under conditions similar to the conditions the tool experiences in a metal machining operation. In addition, I use high-energy x-ray techniques to study the behavior of the tool in real time during machining.