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A major cause of failure in components subjected to rolling or rolling/sliding contacts is contact fatigue. This article focuses on the rolling contact fatigue (RCF) performance and failure modes of overlay coatings such as those deposited by physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and thermal spraying (TS). It provides a background to RCF in bearing steels in order to develop an understanding of failure modes in overlay coatings. The article describes the underpinning failure mechanisms of TiN and diamond-like carbon coatings. It presents an insight into the design considerations of coating-substrate material properties, coating thickness, and coating processes to combat RCF failure in TS coatings.

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