PVD Hard Thin Film Coatings

PVD Coatings are traditionally deposited onto cutting tools and forming tools to extend the life of the tool. There is a very wide range of PVD Coatings from which to choose all having extremely high hardness (2000 – 3500Hv); the choice of coating depends on the application. Coatings have different properties such as hardness, chemical composition, color and Friction coefficient.

The PVD Coating process is essentially an atomic plasma spray treatment inside a high vacuum chamber. The process is carried out at elevated temperature (up to 450°C) and is a ‘line of sight’ operation. The common coatings deposited are Titanium Nitride (TiN), Titanium CarboNitride (TiCN), Chromium Nitride (CrN) and Aluminium Titanium Nitride (AlTiN) with many variants of these also available. All types of tooling can be coated including milling, drilling, stamping, piercing, forming, gear cutting and punching. All high speed steels, carbide and many other tool steels can be coated. PVD coatings are usually less than 6 microns thick and conform exactly to the texture of the surface being coated. Tools or components to be coated are first inspected to insure suitability for coating, and then cleaned using an automatic multi-step process to ensure that they are physically and chemically clean. This is of crucial importance to the success of the coating operation..

The Benefits

  • Longer tool life – 300% to 1000% increases are typical compared to uncoated
  • Increased productivity – tools can be run at higher feeds and speeds
  • Uniform thickness – will not alter critical dimensional tolerances of components or parts
  • Corrosion resistant – thermally and chemically stable
  • Not affected by most acids and alkalis
  • Smoother workpiece surfaces – one half the co-efficient of friction of uncoated surfaces results in better surface finish in machining and better mold release in casting operations
  • Lower maintenance costs – the significant increase in tool life means fewer tool changes and less down time
  • More regrinds possible due to the wear land being significantly reduced on coated tools
  • Reduced wear
  • Reduced friction (increased lubricity)
  • Use less cutting oils
  • Increased quality
  • Increased performance
  • Increased operating temperatures
  • Reduced down time of your machine
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Reduced cost of tooling
  • Less time spent re-testing batch
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