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Martensitic stainless‐steel plates were coated with silicon carbide (SiC) in a low‐pressure inductive rf plasma reactor from a mixture of tetra‐methyl‐silane and hydrogen in argon. The SiC films were characterized with regard to crystalline structure, homogeneity and morphology using x‐ray diffraction (XRL), and optical and electron microscopy techniques, respectively. The film’s structure was identified as hexagonal α‐SiC with free carbon embedded in it. Its surface consists of small spherical shapes whose size was found to be related to the structure and surface homogeneity of the film. The hydrogen concentration in the gas feed played an important role in determining the structure (XRD), composition (Auger electron spectroscopy measurements), and density (sink float method) of the SiC films. The microhardness and density were found to be dependent on the total carbon content in the films, with a maximum value, corresponding to SiC films with composition close to stoichiometric.