There are thought to be great technical and economic benefits potentially available through the application of multiple surface engineering technologies in new market sectors. This is illustrated through the combined plasma and PVD treatment of low alloy steel substrates. Unique opportunities exist, through the advent of high energy beam technologies, to liquid phase thermochemically alloy aluminium and titanium materials which can then be combined with plasma or PVD techniques to enhance the performance of engineering components by many orders of magnitude. The most recent work in this field suggests that roller element bearings in titanium alloys will soon be within the bounds of design capability and advances towards the design and manufacture of titanium gears could well be possible in the longer term.
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