Functional coatings are able to improve physico-mechanical properties of the substrates they cover. Different typologies of coatings can be applied to brakes components to increase corrosion and abrasion resistance, reduce surfaces wettability as well as to provide color or other specific aesthetic properties. Nowadays, thin (e.g. < 5µm) coatings are of particular interest, since they can be typically made with low amounts of raw materials and quick production processes. However, when the coating thickness falls below the micrometric range, their physico-chemical characterization becomes increasingly more complex. Therefore, this work proposes an extensive and optimized multi-technique analytical protocol for the reliable characterization of both compositional and physical properties of a thin coating. In particular, this paper features a nanometric sol-gel hybrid organic-inorganic coating as target example of thin layer tailoring corrosion resistance, wettability and aesthetic characteristic of a metallic substrate. The chemical composition is assessed by Infra-Red (IR) spectroscopy, Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (GD-OES) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDXS). The coating thickness is evaluated by Focus Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM). Finally, coating properties are characterized by Adhesion and Scratch Test (ST), Drop Shape Analysis (DSA) and Linear Sweep Voltammetry (LSV).
Dr. Alessandro Mancini, Materials Development Coordinator, Brembo S.p.A.; Mr. Nicola Nocera, Materials Specialist, Brembo S.p.A.; Ms. Bozhena Tsyupa, Materials Specialist, Brembo S.p.A.; Dr. Alessandro Piglione, Materials Specialist, Brembo S.p.A.; Mr. Pietro Della Bella, Consultant, Brembo S.p.A.; Mr. Simone Russo, Consultant, Brembo S.p.A.; Mr. Marco Bandiera, Materials Specialist, Brembo S.p.A.; Dr. Federico Bertasi, Materials Development Coordinator, Brembo S.p.A.; Dr. Andrea Bonfanti, Materials Engineering & Laboratories Manager, Brembo S.p.A.