Tool Coating

tool coating

Increased productivity and efficiency of cutting tools can be obtained with various types of coating processes.   We can coat all of our product offerings to the coating you require.  Coatings typically add 0.0001 to 0.0003 inches on the diameter of the tool.

Tool Coating Technology

Increased productivity and efficiency of cutting tools can be obtained with various types of coating processes.   We can coat all of our product offerings to the coating you require.  If we don’t stock the item on our shelf coated the way you want it, we can provide it in relatively short order.  Coatings primarily increase wear resistance, but they may also reduce cutting forces and temperatures at the tool edge and thereby indirectly affect the deformation and fracture behavior of the tool.

Our coatings are PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), which is considered “cold process.” CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) is “hot process.”   We can offer CVD coatings on most carbide tooling and some M42 or M1 material tooling.  Unlike the PVD process, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reduces the fracture strength of the tool material due to interfacial eta-phase formation or the presence of grown-in cracks due to tensile residual stresses in the coating.

Titanium Nitride (TiN), Single layer

TiN has very good corrosion resistance, heat transmission and excellent wear resistance with a wide range of materials including good for iron based materials, good for hardened steel, good for inconnel, and stainless. It has also been used as a coating on HSS and carbide tools to cut aluminum, some woods, plastics, and fiberglass laminates. Increased tool life can run 3 to 8 times greater with increased feeds and speeds (finished parts per hour). Longer tool life or greater feeds and speeds depend upon the application, coolant, and other conditions. This high performance coating is a great all-purpose choice for increasing tool life. TiN increases hardness and has a high oxidation temperature. This coating is bright gold in color with a surface hardness reaching 81 Rc and a .4 coefficient of friction. Titanium Nitride (TiN) is the most common PVD hard coating in use today. TiN has an excellent combination of performance properties, attractive appearance, and safety (meets FDA requirements for surgical tools and implants as well as food contact applications). Hardness; 2800 HV. Coating Thickness; 2-4 microns. Thermal Stability; 550 deg. C or 1000 deg. F. TiN helps to prevent premature tool cutting edge chipping and depth of cut notching.

Titanium Carbo-Nitride (TiCN), Multi layer

As with TiN, feeds and speeds can be increased and tool life can improved by as much as 800% depending on the application, coolant, and other conditions.  TiCN offers improved wear resistance to abrasive, adhesive, or difficult-to-machine materials such as, better for cast iron, aluminum alloys, better for steel and tool steels, copper, inconel and titanium alloys.This multi-layered coating is best suited for hard work materials over 40 Rc and operations involving interrupted cuts and high shock applications. TiCN coating has been used with HSS and carbide tools for cutting wood composites, kevlar, carbon laminates, fiberglass composites, particle boards, cast iron, super alloys, high silicon content aluminum alloys, better for inconnel, bakelite, and paper.  The addition of carbon adds more hardness and better surface lubricity. Coating is medium gray or bronze in color with hardness reaching 90 Rc and a .3 coefficient of friction. TiCN Coating has up to 750 Degree F thermal stability. Hardness; 3000 HV. Coating Thickness; 2-4 microns. Thermal Stability; 400 deg. C or750 deg. F.  TiCN helps to prevent premature tool cutting edge chipping and depth of cut notching.

Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN or AlTiN), Multi layer

AlTiN offers a higher surface hardness than that of TiAlN, along with different percentages of aluminum and titanium. TiAlN’s improved ductility makes it an excellent choice for interrupted cutting operations. Its superior oxidation resistance provides great performance in high temperature machining. TiAlN does not exhibit edge brittleness and can be used for interrupted cuts without chipping. This popular coating is recommended for applications where heat resistance and extra hardness is required for abrasive materials.A formed layer of aluminum oxide gives this tool better life in high heat applications. This coating is primarily selected for carbide tooling where little to no coolant is being used. Coating is purple/black in color with a surface hardness in the upper 80 Rc range with a coefficient of friction less than Titanium Nitride (TiN). TiAlN coating is a high performance coating which excels at machining of abrasive and difficult-to-machine materials such as best for cast iron, aluminum alloys, best for hardened steel and tool steels, best for inconnel, and nickel alloys.  It has also been used to cut MDF particle board, extending tool life three times over that of an uncoated carbide tool.  TiAln is best for abrasive wear applications.Also available are multi-layer coatings that chip to the next layer instead of the tooling substrate, providing a further increase in tool life.

Chromium Nitride (CrN)

Chromium Nitride is a special coating developed to endure conditions under high loads, and its low residual stress enables it to have the greatest adhesion and ductility of all PVD coatings. These properties provide CrN with a niche for forming and drawing applications where optimum release is needed. Also, CrN can be beneficial on wear components, due to its excellent surface adhesion which creates a tough resistance against corrosion. Recommended applications are Carbon Steels, Aluminum, Aluminized or Zinc Coated Steels, Brass, Copper and 300 Series Stainless Steels.

  • Appearance: Metal-Silver
  • Thickness: 2-6 microns
  • Hardness: 2000 Vickers
  • Thermal Stability: 1300 deg. F or 704 deg. C
  • Lubricity: 0.5 coefficient of friction

Zirconium Nitride (ZrN)

Zirconium Nitride is a special coating developed to perform in areas that TiN has proven unsuccessful. ZrN possesses a very low deposition temperature, which makes it most suitable for temperature-sensitive substrates. Also, ZrN has an excellent corrosion- resistance, lubricity and hardness to suit many applications. A coating that works well with non-ferrous materials, ZrN has a unique ability to reduce the build-up edge on cutting tools and leave a better surface finish on materials its machined. ZrN is appropriate for machining Titanium and Aluminum Alloys, Nickel, Brass, Copper, Cast Iron and Zinc.  ZrN coating can also be used in cutting wood.

  • Appearance: Pale Gold
  • Thickness: 2-5 microns
  • Hardness: 2800 Vickers
  • Thermal Stability: 1050 deg. F or 565 deg. C
  • Lubricity: 0.5 coefficient of friction

CVD Diamond Coating

CVD diamond coated end mills and router bits work well in profile milling, plunge cutting and slotting in a wide range of composites and non-ferrous materials.  The diamond coating also is excellent for machining graphite and copper mold electrodes and by manufacturers fabricating component parts made of hard carbon materials. CVD diamond coating can improve life by 10 – 20 times over uncoated tools and 5 -10 times over other types of coating when machining graphite, hard carbon and other abrasive materials. CVD diamond coating works well to cut carbon fiber composites and wood composites with resin where abrasiveness and galling become problems.  One of the benefits of this diamond coating is we can offer true spiral fluted shapes versus PCD flat shapes for better cutting performance.

EkstromBond Diamond Coating

Ekstrombond technology is an enhanced arc technology based on the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) process and allows the deposition of extremely hard, very smooth, non-hydrogenated diamond like carbon (DLC) films.  Ekstrombond coatings are deposited at a temperature below 150(°) C.  Ekstrombond has demonstrated excellent performance in machining aluminum, graphite, copper, PCB boards and composite materials. Ekstrombond has also been successful in machining wood, plastics, epoxies and certain grades of titanium. Ekstrombond coatings are also suitable for tool recoating. The hardness of amorphous-diamond film has been measured in the range of 70 to 90 GPa, which is about the same as that of CVD diamond film. Abrasion resistance is also comparable to that of CVD diamond film.  Coating thickness typically range from 0.4 to 1.5 microns.

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