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In this study, micro-scratch tests were conducted on a diamond-coated tungsten-carbide substrate to investigate the coating adhesion. High intensity Acoustic Emission (AE) signals were detected once the coating delamination initiated during the scratch test. It has also been found that the tangential force increased gradually with the normal force, but varied significantly
when the critical load of coating delamination was reached. A finite element (FE) model with a cohesive-zone interface was developed to simulate the scratch process and the coating delamination phenomena. The preliminary results indicate that it is feasible to use the FE combined with scratch tests to evaluate the coating interface characteristics.