Parameterised FE modelling of the surface-systems with coatings which considers the cracking of the coatings and influences of the case-hardening of the substrate

J. Feng, Y. Qin, Q. Zeng, E. Almandoz, G. Fuente, H. Dong, R. Raghavan, J. Michler

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Accurately predicting the failure of multilayered surface systems, including coatings on tools or products, is of significance for all of the parties concerned within the chain of design, manufacturing and use of a product. Previous modeling work has, however, been focused largely on the effect of individual parameters rather than on the performance of a multilayered system as a whole. Design and manufacture of multilayered surface systems, currently, still relies largely on experiments and failure tests. A parameterized approach which considers geometrical, material, interfacial and loading variables, processing history, thermal effects, surface-failure modeling, etc. has therefore been developed to address the situation in order to be able to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the analysis and design of multilayered coating-systems. Material property values for the hardened case of the substrate are described with a function of the hardened depth and defined with a field method. Initial residual stresses calculated using a newly developed theoretical model are incorporated into the model as initial stress conditions. Thermo-mechanical coupled modeling is incorporated into the model so as to be able to consider temperature effects. These are associated with a cohesive-element modeling approach, which has been used to predict indentation-induced crack initiation and propagation within the coating layer. The comparison of experimental results with those of numerical modeling affords excellent agreement. The parameterized modeling method developed allows for the parameters to be changed easily during a series analysis. Combined with the capability of the prediction of cracking of the coatings, the developed method/model provides an efficient way for investigating the effects of these parameters on the behavior of multilayered systems, which is demonstrated by the analysis of three cases of the coated tool steels (H11): (i) a substrate without being pre-heat-treated; and (ii) two substrates with a shallow and a deep hardened-case, respectively, (both are treated by plasma-nitriding). The results showed that the case-hardening of a substrate has a significant influence on the performance of the surface system with coating, especially on its load-bearing capacity and the cracking of the coating.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Multiscale Modelling
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • surface coating
  • indentation
  • surface failure
  • FE modeling
  • cohesive-zone modeling


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