Realising the potential of duplex surface engineering

T. Bell*, H. Dong, Y. Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Citations (Scopus)


We are now close to the new millennium and on the threshold of an era of rapid change. Limitations to the further advance of manufacturing industry in the 21st century are most likely to be surface-related. Many mechanical systems will operate under ever more severe application conditions, such as intensive loads, high speeds and harsh environments, in order to achieve high productivity, high power efficiency and low energy consumption. Consequently, many challenging complex design situations have emerged where the combination of several properties (such as wear resistance, load bearing capacity, and fatigue performance) are required. These new challenges can be met only through realising the potential of duplex surface engineering. Indeed, there are thought to be great technical and economic benefits available through the application of duplex surface engineering technologies in many new market sectors. The present paper is a synthesis of several strands of recent surface engineering research at the University of Birmingham, including the duplex ceramic coating-nitrided steel system and the duplex DLC coating-oxygen diffusion treated titanium system. The prediction of the performance of duplex systems based on advanced contact mechanics modelling is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalTribology International
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the Commission of the European Union for its support of the programme `Finite element modelling of the plasma nitriding process and the resultant load bearing capacity of low alloy steels (BRITE/EURAM Project BE 4242)', and DTI/EPSRC for its support of the LINK project `Advanced surface engineering of titanium alloy components (AdSurfEngTi)'. They would also like to extend their thanks to all members of the Wolfson Institute for Surface Engineering within the School of Metallurgy and Materials, particularly Drs A. Bloyce, K. Mao and P. Buchhagen, for their valuable contributions.


  • DLC coating
  • Duplex surface engineering
  • Plasma nitriding
  • PVD
  • Titanium alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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