Friction and wear tests were performed to investigate effects of sliding velocity and normal load on tribological characteristics of a multi-layered diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating for machine elements. The DLC coatings which consist of sequentially deposited gradient Cr/CrN, W-doped DLC (a-C:H:W) and DLC (a-C:H) layers were formed on carburized SCM 415 Cr-Mo steel disks using a reactive sputtering system. The tests against AISI 52100 steel balls were performed under various sliding velocities (0.0625, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 m/s) and normal loads (6.1, 20.7 and 49.0 N) in ambient air (relative humidity = 26 +/- 2%, temperature = 18 +/- 2 degrees C). Each test was conducted for 20 km sliding distance without lubricating oil. The results show that friction coefficients decrease with the increase in sliding velocity and normal load. Wear rates of both surfaces decrease with the increase in normal load. The increase in sliding velocity leads initially to the increase in wear rates up to the maximum value. Then, they decrease, as the sliding velocity increases above specific value that corresponds to the maximum wear rate. Through surface observation and analysis, it is confirmed that formation of transfer layers and graphitized degree of wear surfaces of DLC coatings mainly affect its tribological characteristics. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.