Calculated and experimental Schmid factors for chip flow deformation of textured CVD α-alumina coatings
Journal article, 2021

A thorough analysis of Schmid factors (m) for three different (basal and two prismatic) slip systems and three different coating textures, (0001), (011¯2) and (112¯0), was done in order to understand the influence of CVD α-alumina coating textures on the ability of the coatings to deform plastically at different locations on the rake face of a cutting tool insert during a metal machining operation. Schmid factor diagrams were constructed using MATLAB/MTEX in order to visualize the angular dependence of an external force relative to the α-Al O crystals (grains) on the Schmid factor. The diagrams were also used to extract m-value frequency distributions for different slip systems and textures. In addition, lateral m-value distribution maps were obtained from experimental textured coatings using electron backscatter diffraction. These maps show the ability for neighboring grains to deform plastically in the coatings. Cutting tool inserts with differently textured α-Al2O3 coatings were subjected to dry machining of a quench-tempered steel. Using scanning electron microscopy, the microstructure and surface topography of the worn alumina layers were investigated and it was found that a flatter surface morphology and higher probability of discrete plastic deformation are connected to less wear. This was observed in the (0001)-textured sample, which also exhibited the highest m-values in the wear zone with highest temperatures and external forces. It was observed that basal slip is most easily activated, followed by prismatic slip systems 1 and 2 in this case. For (011¯2) and (112¯0) textured coatings the differences in m-values for the three slip systems are not that big, and the distributions are relatively wide. It is clear that the Schmid factor analysis forms a basis that is important for understanding crater wear, especially when it is connected to local plastic deformation, of textured CVD α-Al2O3 coatings. The methodology of this work can be expanded to other coating systems and also more generally to applications where it is of interest to analyze the deformation behavior and local plastic anisotropy of textured materials.

Deformation mechanisms

Hard coatings


Schmid factor



Siamak Shoja


Chalmers, Physics, Microstructure Physics

O. Alm

Seco Tools AB

S. Norgren


Hans-Olof Andrén

Chalmers, Physics, Microstructure Physics

Mats Halvarsson

Chalmers, Physics, Microstructure Physics

Surface and Coatings Technology

0257-8972 (ISSN)

Vol. 412 126991

Nedbrytningsmekanismer för CVD-skikt vid metallbearbetning

Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), 2017-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Subject Categories


Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology

Other Materials Engineering


Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory



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