Reducing Wear Resistance and Increasing Productivity with Tool Coatings from Hauzer

Introduction to Hauzer’s Tool Coatings

Hauzer has more than two decades of expertise in the tool coating market. The tool coating equipment from Hauzer is advantageous in many ways:

  • Flexible equipment and allows for upgrading
  • Combination of hybrid coating technologies in a single machine
  • Fast cycle time
  • High productivity
  • Low cost of ownership, thanks to very high target utilization
  • Stable processes
  • Extensive range of superior tool coatings
  • Good reproducibility of coatings
  • Minimal maintenance

Cutting Tools Coating

The service life of cutting tools is extended with the application of PVD coatings, which are selected based on the type and application of the cutting tools. The technologies that can be integrated into the Hauzer tool coating equipment include nitriding for nitrocoat duplex treatment, dual magnetron sputtering for creating oxide coatings, PACVD for depositing diamond-like carbon coatings such as ta-C and CARC+ for nitride coatings.

Forming Tools Coating

Compared to cutting tools, forming and punching tools have different PVD and PACVD coating requirements. Hardness, smoothness and anti-sticking are the required properties of forming tools coating. To meet these requirements, Hauzer has created a variety of coatings, such as Al2O3, CrN, AlTiN, TiN and Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coatings, all can be performed on the Hauzer coating equipment. For instance, Nitrocoat Duplex Treatment yields outstanding coating results on forming tools.

CARC+ Tool Coating Technology

CARC+ circular arc technology provides the necessary speed for tool coating applications. The cycle time of a batch for a 2-µm-thick AlTiN coating in a Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 is below 4h. Compared to traditional circular arc, a machine with CARC+ technology saves more than 40% of batch costs and more than 80% of target costs per batch.

The roughness (Ra) for a 2-µm-thick AlTiN coating by means of the CARC+ circular arc technology is down to 0.16µm (Figure 1). The surface roughness of 20-µm-thick TiN layers on forming tools was found to be only 320nm, thus requiring minimal or no polishing after coating. The combination of superior arc confinement and extremely high target utilization of the CARC+ circular arc technology results in improved cost of ownership. In addition, CARC+ exhibits a stable behavior across a broad range of pressures.

Figure 1. Structure comparison of AlTiN coating

Versatile Hauzer Flexicoat® 850

The Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment with CARC + technology (Figure 2) can provide smooth coatings rapidly and reliably. With a high deposition rate, this equipment is ideal for job coaters as they change batches rapidly and applies coatings with superior smoothness. Minimal maintenance is another advantage of the Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment.

Figure 2. The Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment

The Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment can also be integrated with technology for creating diamond-like carbon coatings such as ta-C with low friction and high hardness. With load mass of 400kg, and load height and diameter of 500mm each, the equipment is ideal for both job coaters and tool makers.

The ability to add and upgrade with more coating technologies makes the Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment popular with universities and research and development centers. It is easier to scale up new developed coatings from lab scale to industrial scale. For carbon emission reduction, the automotive industry is seeking ways for weight reduction with different materials such as carbon reinforced plastics and aluminum. These materials are sticky, causing tool blunting and affecting tool performance. To address these problems, the tool industry needs to come up with innovative solutions (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Taps coated with TiN and AlTiN, deposited with CARC+ technology

The ta-C coating done using a circular arc process typically has a thickness of below 1µm with a high hardness of 4000-7000HV and low friction coefficient of 0.02-0.1 when compared to dry Al2O3. The operating temperature of this rainbow color coating can go beyond 500 degrees (Figure 4).

Figure 4. End mills coated with ta-C coating

Besides having the ability to integrate multiple technologies, the Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment is customizable to specific requirements for a given technology. By selecting appropriate rotation speed and arc current, multilayer, superlattice and atomic-mixed structures can be produced using the CARC+ technology.

The Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment typically has two banks of three CARC+ cathodes for tool coatings and operates with 35kW heater power (Figure 5). The back door is designed to equip the machine with a third CARC+ cathode bank. This standard configuration enables production of nanoscale multilayers as well as superlattices.

Figure 5. Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 standard configuration with two banks of CARC+ cathodes

The layer thickness is the main difference between multilayers (100nm) and superlattices (1-10nm). For the simultaneous use of two different target materials, the cathode current applied is twice 100A with a deposition rate of 1.5µm/h per cathode and a rotation speed of 2rpm. This means 120 passes with the average added thickness per pass of 12.5nm for 1500nm. The resulting structure is the superlattice.

It is also possible to equip the Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 with three CARC+ cathode banks with elemental targets as shown in Figure 6, providing the utmost flexibility for superlattice production. The arc works on all types of elemental targets except the Si-target. For this reason, Si deposition will always from an alloyed target like CrSi, AlSi,and TiSi.

Figure 6. Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 configuration with elemental targets

Special arc power supplies that have a low current stability of roughly 40A enable the Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 to deliver optimum performance. The standard current stability is roughly 80A. The machine also comes with the option of special rotation speed of 0.5-10rpm (standard is 0.5-3rpm). The combination of 10rpm rotation speed and 40A arc current provides an average added thickness per pass of 1nm, yielding atomic-mixed structures.

The following video shows the Hauzer Flexicoat® 850 equipment with CARC+ technology.

About IHI Hauzer Techno Coating B.V

Hauzer is part of the IHI Group based in Japan. IHI Corporation was founded 160 years ago and the group of companies share a focus on engineering and technology.

Hauzer's total commitment to the needs of its customers worldwide has been crucial to its success. More than seventy companies, many with multiple systems, enjoy the benefit of this commitment, from PVD process development up to global customer support. Some global companies owe their prominent market position to Hauzer PVD coating technology.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by IHI Hauzer Techno Coating B.V.

For more information on this source, please visit IHI Hauzer Techno Coating B.V.

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