In this paper, the nucleation and growth of diamond/diamond-like coatings on austenitic (AISI 316) and ferritic (AISI 430) stainless steel substrates have been investigated using torch technique. The effects of substrate surface preparation has also been studied. The quality of coatings produced has been examined using optical and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy.
The results obtained revealed very good crystalline grains and coating on austenitic and clusters of semi-and non-crystalline particles on ferritic stainless steel substrates. It was also observed that mechanical polishing and/or chemical etching would increase the nucleation density. The nucleation density was a function of substrate temperature, as well.

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