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Approaches to investigate delamination and interfacial toughness in coated systems: an overview

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jinju Chen, Professor Steve BullORCiD


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The fundamental property which often dictates the performance of a coating is its adhesion to the substrate and thus there are many techniques to measure adhesion. The choice of methods is dependent on many factors such as the mechanical properties of the coating and substrate, the interface properties, the microstructure of the coating/substrate system, residual stress, coating thickness and the intended application. Most tests aim to introduce a stable interfacial crack and make it propagate under controlled conditions and model this process to determine adhesion. The corresponding models are either stress analysis-based or energy-based. With the advent of miniature systems and very thin functional coatings, there is a need for characterization of adhesion at small length scales and some specific tests have been developed which are not appropriate for thicker coatings. Among these, indentation and scratch methods have the widest range of applicability but it is necessary to analyse the failure mechanisms before choosing an appropriate model to extract adhesion parameters. This paper reviews the main quantitative adhesion tests for coatings and highlights the tests which can be used to assess submicrometre coatings and thin films. The paper also highlights the modelling and analysis methods necessary to extract reliable adhesion properties illustrating this with examples for submicrometre coatings on silicon and architectural glass.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chen JJ, Bull SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

Year: 2011

Volume: 44

Issue: 3

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

ISSN (print): 0022-3727

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6463

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/44/3/034001


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