Model No.︰TiN PVD Coating
Brand Name︰Titanium Nitride (TiN) PVD Coating
Country of Origin︰India
Titanium Nitride (TiN) PVD Coating
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Physical vapor deposition (or PVD) is the process in which a metal material becomes vaporized and then condensed onto a production part’s surface as a coating. A PVD coating improves the hardness, durability, and chemical and oxidation resistance of the production part. This process is most commonly used in aerospace, automotive, and medical industries, among others to provide a long lasting jewelry like appearance, improved lifelong performance, and ease of cleaning.
Here Are the Three Main Types of PVD Coating
Physical vapor deposition techniques for a functional lifetime coating became popularized in the 1970’s and have since become essential practices for a variety of industries. There are a variety of PVD processes which cover a spectrum of functionally and aesthetically desirable attributes. However, the three most commonly used forms are thermal evaporation, sputter deposition, and arc vapor deposition. There are subsets of each PVD coating process, but all achieve similar results.
1. Thermal Evaporation
There are two types of thermal evaporation: pulsed laser deposition and electron beam deposition. Both processes use energy to evaporate a metal material (such as Titanium, Zirconium, Chromium, Aluminum, or Copper) into a vacuum. The vacuum then allows vapor articles to travel to the relatively cooler production parts where it will once again condense and crystallize into a thin, hardened, metal state. This PVD type is most commonly used in computer industry microfabrication or for products such as film packaging.
2. Sputter Deposition
Two types of sputter deposition are currently used in manufacturing applications: ion beam sputtering and magnetron sputtering. In the former, an ion beam directs a high electric field toward the surface of the material to be vaporized. This causes the metal vapor gases to ionize after which momentum transfer directs those ions toward the target production part. In magnetron sputtering, positively charged ions are accelerated by an electrical field and then superimposed onto the target parts. This process is commonly used in the medical industry for manufacturing lab products and optical films.
3. Arc Vapor Deposition
Our favorite PVD coating method at Bend Plating is arc vapor deposition—or in our case, low-temperature arc vapor deposition (LTAVD). This process uses a low-voltage arc to evaporate metal source material into vaporized metal particles. These evaporated metal atoms combine with reactive gas molecules in a plasma state that once again condense on relatively cooler production parts in close proximity. Production parts spin on a multi-axis rack carousel to produce an evenly distributed lifetime coating in colors that include hues of black, bronze, gold, graphite, nickel, blue, purple, and “rainbow” combinations of more than one color.
LTAVD is our favorite form of PVD coating because it is the most environmentally friendly method, and it results in a very thin (0.25 to 4.0 microns) hard metallic coating that is available in a wide variety of colors. PVD finish has a transparent quality that allows underlying chrome or polish to shine through. Matte and brushed metal finishes also receive PVD to lock in these desired physical appearances for a lifetime of corrosion, chemical, and scratch resistance. PVD can also be used on lower-cost or lighter weight base materials (including plastic and aluminum) and provide superior aesthetic looks, abrasion, and corrosion resistance.
Physical vapor deposition is also referred to as PVD. PVD coatings improve hardness as well as wear, temperature, impact, and oxidation resistance. Our PVD coatings are well-suited to a number of industries. Such as aerospace, auto, medical, and more. PVD is an environmentally friendly coating process free from hazardous byproducts. PVD coating provides stunning decorative finishes with strong corrosion and wear resistance.
Our PVD features Vapor Tech High-Performance Finishes and low-temperature Arc Vapor Deposition. Because of this, Bend Plating can coat high volumes of components large and small. Also, we can coat particularly heat sensitive materials with consistent, high-quality decorative finishes. The result: enhanced visual and functional performance of your product.
When performance and durability matter, Bend Plating is here to help. Call our experienced team for more information. We can discuss PVD coatings and the physical vapor deposition process. Contact us for a free estimate on your project.
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) coatings improve hardness. Also, they improve wear, temperature, impact, and oxidation resistance. Therefore, our PVD coatings are well-suited to a number of industries. These include aerospace, auto, medical, and more. PVD is an environmentally friendly coating process free from hazardous byproducts. PVD provides stunning decorative finishes with strong corrosion and wear resistance.
Our superior PVD process is available for many operational parts and adds to product lifespan with decreased corrosion and oxidation. Bend Plating’s PVD coatings range from brushed to brilliant and are available for specific applications and decorative needs in black, brass, gold, chrome, bronze, nickel and copper. Our finishes add a look of luxury and increased wear resistance to any automotive part.
By simply altering the preparation, our sophisticated PVD equipment can produce a highly polished decorative finish, bead blasted or brushed in brilliant black, brass, gold, chrome, bronze, nickel, and copper, as well as custom colors while ensuring a consistent and long-lasting finish.
PVD PROCESSES AND COATING MATERIALS
The deposition of thin film layers from the vapor phase is accomplished through several techniques. We review the physical vapor deposition (PVD) techniques and equipment that are in common use in the high-volume production of coatings that find application in the optical, display, decorative, tribological and energy-generating /saving industries.
Specific PVD processes and coating materials have been developed and optimized for the specific application. Coating materials are classified as dielectric compounds, metals, alloys, or mixtures. The same material can exhibit different optical, electrical, and mechanical properties depending on the deposition process.
Titanium oxide is a unique example of a metal oxide compound that, depending on deposition process parameters, can be made into film layers that are: transparent, electrically conductive, chemically reactive to light and bio-agents, chemically inert or exhibit spectrally selectively absorption. The dependent parameters are starting composition, oxidation state, crystalline structure and packing density.
PVD techniques used in production are basically two in nature:
Thermal evaporation by resistively heating or by using an electron-beam heating
Sputtering, a non-thermal process
Variations and additions are made to the basic PVD techniques to permit different coating materials and substrate types to be accommodated. Process additions designed to alter the growth, nano-structure or composition of the film through control of the dependent variables listed above include bombardment of the growing film by high energy inert- or / and reactive ions, substrate heating, atmosphere composition and partial pressure, rate and vapor incidence angle. A further important variable contribution to the nucleation and self-assembling growth structure of the condensing adatoms, that we have discussed frequently, is the condition — both chemical and physical — of the substrate surface.
Resistance-heated (RH) sources are constructed of metal containers that can be open and boat shaped, or closed as with a baffle box and exit opening. The type of source used, and its metal (or surface lining) depends on whether the material melts when heated or sublimes. Refractory metals (Ta, Mo, W) and ceramic or graphite crucibles are used to form sources. Since most fluoride compounds melt, an open container is often used, and evaporation proceeds from a large melted area. If the material sublimes, as do sulfide and selenide compounds and some oxide compounds, a baffled box source is used that emits the vapor.
Materials that require high temperature (>~1000° C) to vaporize, such as refractory oxide compounds and refractory metals, require the higher temperature of a focused electron beam source (E-B). Nearly any material that can be evaporated by RH can be evaporated by E-B; however, the power (high voltage) must be lowered for fluoride compounds for example, to prevent dissociation. Metals such as aluminum, gold and copper have lower evaporation temperatures than dielectrics and RH is generally used. Oxide and nitride compounds generally require the presence of a reactive atmosphere to recompose the compound or to establish the correct composition of the film.
A partial pressure of the appropriate gas, deposition at the appropriate rate and substrate temperature all influence film composition. More information is contained in the Photonics Handbook article, Materials for Optical Coating Deposition: a Wide Selection is Available, and accompanying Data Tables that provide deposition parameters for specific materials . Technical data sheets are also available on the CERAC web site .
TiN (Titanium Nitride)
This coating has become the choice for general machining and wear applications. It works well when shops are machining carbon steels and stainless steels.
TiN coating is also a favorite for decorative items that require a gold appearance providing improved wear resistance when compared to gold plating. Injection molders find it works superior to chrome and nickel wet bath platings for release, wear and corrosion protection. Rubber molders have found the coating to provide better release and corrosion properties than wet bath platings. Titanium nitride coating is also a good choice to protect components from erosion improving erosion resistance when compared to traditional sprayed coatings.
TiN-LT (Low Temperature Titanium Nitride)
NCT's low temperature titanium nitride is an excellent choice for substrate materials that may be adversely affected by the temperatures associated with standard PVD processes. The standard process temperature is 500 degrees Fahrenheit, however, runs have been designed as low as 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Customers can now receive all of the benefits associated with titanium nitride on a wide range of substrate materials. Injection mold tooling that cannot withstand the standard processing temperature, chopping and slitting blades, wear components, beryllium copper and associated alloys and brazed carbide tooling are just a few of the applications for this process.
TiCN (Titanium Carbonitride)
This coating provides higher abrasion resistance and a lower friction coefficient than TiN, CrN and TiAlN or AlTiN but it has a lower temperature threshold. It is superior to the TiN when machining stainless steels, high nickel alloys, cast iron, non-ferrous materials and plastics. TiCN is also a good choice to reduce sliding wear or for applications that involve impact.
AlTiN (Aluminum Titanium Nitride)
This coating has the highest temperature resistance of any of the coatings available. It also provides a high degree of surface hardness and maintains that hardness at elevated temperatures. It is the coating of choice when you are dry machining, machining titanium alloys, inconel, stainless alloys and cast iron. The advantage of the AlTiN film is its ability to produce the Al2O3 when high temperatures are encountered. AlTiN can be used for demanding forming applications. Variations of this coating have been developed for high temperature erosion applications providing improved erosion protection when compared to conventional sprayed coatings.
A good tribological coating and the best coating for corrosion protection, CrN is a versatile performance coating providing corrosion protection, uniform coverage and improved wear resistance when compared to wet bath deposited chrome platings. On steel substrates our CrN coating provides improved adhesion, oxidation resistance and corrosion protection compared to titanium based coatings. In difficult, demanding forming applications CrN has excelled in providing increased tool life. If you are machining titanium or non-ferrous alloys, CrN will provide you with increased tool life. The die casting industry has experienced remarkable gains in tool life due to the protection from heat checking and die wear provided by chromium nitride coating. CrN provides improved release and clean-up of rubber molds. Injection molders have also experienced improved performance when using chromium nitride coating in place of wet bath hard chrome plating.
ZrN (Zirconium Nitride)
This coating has become the choice for machining, forming or punching nonferrous materials and plastics. It can also be used to machine cast iron alloys as well. The coating is a favorite for decorative items that require a brass appearance and good wear resistance. ZrN can be used as a barrier film for corrosion protection.
TiN Coating on Surgical Instruments
Titanium nitride coating is used to provide improved performance on surgical instruments and dental and medical implants providing an inert surface barrier that protects the products from corrosion and improves the wear resistance maintaining the integrity of the cutting edge longer. The reduced friction coefficient provided by the coating reduces the edge build-up and helps to prevents tissue from adhering to the instruments.
TiN Coating on Razor Blades and Packaging Knives
The packaging industry has experienced dramatic improvement in the longevity of their consumable knives and blades by using titanium nitride (TiN) to extend the life of the knives and blades. The thin hard layer of titanium nitride (TiN) does not affect edge sharpness and improves wear resistance and recues friction during cutting operations.
CrN Coating on Form Tooling
Chromium nitride (CrN) coating is a good choice for form tooling providing improved adhesive strength to the substrate maintaining the hard wear resistant low friction layer when forming pressure is high. Using our unique PVD process NCT can deposit the CrN coating with no significant increase in the surface finish on your part.
CrN Coating on Mold Inserts for Rubber Molding
Chromium nitride (CrN) coating is a god choice for rubber molders to improve release and protect the molding surface during use and cleaning. The thin uniform layer of PVD deposited chromium nitride provides a harder surface than conventional hard chrome plating and reduces build-up on molding surfaces and mold cleaning time.
CrN Coating on Medical Instruments
Chromium nitride (CrN) coating is used on medical and dental instruments and implants to provide a protective corrosion barrier improving wear resistance and providing a uniform appearance through repeated autoclaving cycles.
Drills, Milling Cutters, Slitting Saws & Thread Mills
PVD coatings can be used to improve the life of your tooling reducing your manufacturing cost. TiN, TiCN, AlTiN, ZrN and CrN are used on many tools to provide wear resistance and reduce edge build-up.
Coatings are matched to the proper material to maximize the benefit received. Milling inserts coated with TiN will improve tool life when milling steel alloys. AlTiN would be the coating used when milling stainless or super alloys.
Machine Components to Improve Wear
TiN (titanium nitride) coating is used to extend the life of machine components that experience wear during use. The uniform coating thickness that does not build-up on edges like traditional wet bath electroplated coatings will do and will reduce sliding friction and improve abrasion wear resistance. The coating can be deposited as low as 500 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent changing the core properties of the substrate being coated.
Form Relieved Cutters
These form tools were coated with TiCN to improve the tool life when machining stainless steel when operating parameters could not be increased enough to use AlTiN.
Injection Mold Tooling
Titanium nitride (TiN) coating provides injection molders with improved release and protection against wear from abrasive molding materials. The inert barrier provided by the titanium nitride coating will reduce build-up or attack from caustic molding materials and aid in the cleaning of the molding surface. Titanium nitride (TiN) will provide protection against pitting and attack from PVC compounds chrome plating cannot. Large edge build-ups and degradation in surface quality of the molding surface are not a concern with NCT’s coating process used for mold tooling.
TiN Coating Molds for Rubber Molding
Titanium nitride (TiN) can also be used for tooling in the rubber molding industry. When compounds are used that react with the chromium based coatings TiN can be used to provide release, and wear resistance.
Manufacturers using extrusion tooling will benefit greatly from using PVD coatings to improve tool life, reduce friction, and reduce clean-up time of their tooling. The extrusion die shown to the right has a TiCN coating applied but TiN or CrN are also commonly used depending on the material being extruded.
AlTiN Coating End Mills Improves Productivity
These end mills were coated with AlTiN allowing the customer to increase machining parameters dramatically reducing the time required to complete the part and increasing tool life.
NCT has developed a series of erosion resistant coatings that significantly outperform traditional coatings used to protect components from erosion wear. This series of coatings have been developed to perform at various operating temperatures and in various operating environments. The optimized coating architecture allows coatings to be deposited thinner with improved surface finish than conventional films while providing substantially reduced erosion rates.
Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Process
PVD is a line-of-sight process, where the vapor stream profile is approximately a cosine distribution, provided that the mean free path (MFP) of the evaporant molecules is larger than the scattering depth of the residual atmosphere. At a pressure of 1 e-05 Torr (0.01 Pa), the MFP is 1 m. The distance between the substrate and source must be less than the MFP to prevent loss of rate due to excessive scatter by the resident gas background. To achieve uniform thickness deposition over a large substrate area requires special geometrical considerations. The substrates are typically in motion through the plume distribution to provide random time and area sampling. Substrate tooling is rotated in planetary motion to accomplish uniformity. Various shapes of occluding masking might be added to fine tune the thickness uniformity. Monitoring of thickness can be done indirectly using a quartz crystal oscillator or directly with an optical monitor. Coating systems are now available that can automatically execute a multi-layer coating design and control the thicknesses through the monitoring system.
Metals and sub-oxides can be starting materials for depositing oxide compounds in reactive deposition. Stoichiometric composition of the oxide can be achieved, but the mechanical properties of the layer are poor because the nano-structure is not dense, but instead contains a large volume of voids. Arriving adatom energy is a few tenths of an eV, and competes with the surface free energy of the substrate as affected by the presence of gas and other contaminant bonds. Low kinetic energy results in low surface mobility and island-form condensation instead of uniform surface coverage and growth.
IAD Source and Additional PVD Forms
Ionization of a partial pressure oxygen or of the evaporant species produced in an energetic plasma or with the use of an ion source for ion-assisted deposition (IAD) supplies higher energies. The IAD source ionizes and accelerates argon and oxygen ions toward the substrates. Reactive oxygen completes the oxide compound, and energetic Ar+ ions compact the growing film to increase its packing density. Ion energies of hundreds of eV are possible with IAD sources. In some processes, the substrate or its holder can have a bias with respect to the source that accomplished the same purpose, but at lower energies.
Other forms of PVD for optical applications include pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD). PLD has the advantages of preserving the composition of the starting material for a large variety of compositions. It has not found use in high volume production due to small area coverage and expensive laser accessories. ALD is not based on evaporation, but on chemically reacting precursor gases under temperatures of 200° C or hotter. It has the advantages of producing dense films and consistent repeatable composition and predictable thickness without the need for real-time monitoring. The deposition rate is extremely slow, however.
Evaporation processes are based on vaporizing a material by heating it beyond its melting or subliming temperature. In sputter deposition, atoms of materials are dislodged by the impact of ions, atoms or other particles that are created in an energetic plasma when the kinetic energy of these particles exceeds the binding energy of the target surface. The basic sputter technique is configured as a diode with a plasma discharge between the anode and cathode. Figure 1 shows the basic configurations for sputtering techniques. The cathode target material can be of nearly any composition, for example, insulators, metals and alloys and can be sputtered to deposit solid thin films of predetermined composition. Oxide and nitride compounds can be reactively sputtered from metal targets using a DC plasma; targets composed of dielectrics, ceramics and targets with low electrical conductance are sputtered using one of the many variations of RF sputtering. Table 1 (page 1) lists commonly sputtered films used in a variety of applications, and their target and gas plasma components. Argon is generally the working gas and a reactive component gas is added to determine the final composition of the sputtered film.
The addition of concentrated magnetic fields near the target increases the deposition rate and distribution (magnetron sputtering) by increasing the density of the plasma and power density on the target surface. Energies are 1-10 eV for classical sputter deposition, about a factor of 10 greater than R-H or E-B energies. A beneficial consequence is that sputtered films are denser than evaporated films; a negative is higher compressive stress that for some applications needs to be reduced through process optimization. Alloys of materials can be sputtered with preservation of the starting composition, unless the sputter yields of the two materials differ significantly from each other. In spite of such differences, the target can be conditioned to control the composition of the deposited film.
The preparation of the substrate for PVD prior to PVD coating is critical to the final performance of the coated product in the field. Improper polishing, grinding or preservation can lead to poor adhesion or premature failure of the coating. When preparing the substrate for PVD coating there are some general considerations to keep in mind:
All surfaces should be oiled lightly with water-soluble oil. This prevents rusting and will preserve the integrity of the surface. Choose an oil that will not dry or leave a residue on the surface of the product. Some oils are designed to coat the surface and leave a protective layer on the surface. This layer can remain after the cleaning of the product and cause poor adhesion.
No prior surface treatments should be applied to the surface of the product prior to PVD coating. Wet bath platings, black oxide and nitriding are examples of surface treatments that can cause adhesion problems with the PVD coatings.
Proper polishing techniques should be followed when preparing the surface for PVD coating. Polishing compounds that contain silicone should not be used when preparing the surface for PVD coating. When a polishing compound containing silicone is used, a residue of silicone is left on the surface and will cause adhesion problems.
Care should be taken when grit blasting the substrate. Glass beads should be avoided when possible. If glass beads are used the nozzle pressure should be less than 30 psi.
When grinding the surface care should be taken not to generate excessive heat. If excessive heat is generated during grinding it can lead to stress cracks developing in the substrate's surface or anneal the surface leaving soft spots. When excessive heat is generated while grinding high speed steel, the substrate can be annealed or the grinding burn that is left on the surface can cause adhesion problems
All burrs should be removed prior to the product being coated. A burr that has been left on the surface will be coated and when it is removed in the field will leave a void in the coated surface leading to a premature failure.
Product should be heat-treated at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the PVD processing temperature. NCT offers a high temperature and a low temperature coating process to accommodate a variety of substrates.
Product that is joined by brazing should be joined with a high temperature brazing compound. The compound should be free of cadmium and zinc. The cadmium and zinc will begin to evaporate at very low temperatures during the deposition process. This can lead to voids in the brazed joint and , in some cases, cause poor adhesion of the coating. Contact NCT if you need a recommendation for a brazing compound.
The surface integrity is very important to the products overall performance. If a carbide substrate experiences cobalt leaching during the preparation steps the coating will not perform up to the required standard. If water based coolants are used, the leaching of the cobalt binder is possible. Many factors can lead to the leaching of the cobalt from the carbide substrate. The chlorine in the water, the PH level of the water, the rust inhibitors added to the coolant and even the water pu- rity if not monitored can leach the cobalt binder. The temperature of the coolant can also play a role. As the temperature of the coolant increases, the attack of the cobalt binder increases. Proper handling of the product is also critical. Parts that require multiple grinding operations must be cleaned from any residual coolant in between each step.
Which is Right for Your Application?
Electroplating is a process that has been used by industry for many years. In today's fast paced business environment companies need to keep pace with the constant evolution that takes place due to technology improvements. Often times, companies will use electroplating by default because this is what has always been used. Many times PVD coating is a better solution.
When a product is electroplated it is placed into a tank of solution containing the material to be deposited. The cathode (negative pole) of the power supply is attached to the product to be plated. The anode (positive pole) of the power supply is attached to the material you wish to deposit. When the power is applied from the power supply the negatively charged product attracts the positive ions of the material you wish to deposit that are in the plating solution. The anode material will replenish the material in the solution that is deposited on the substrate
The electroplating technology is a low energy form of plating. Because it is a low energy electrochemical process, ions arrive at the substrate with relatively low energy and deposit on the surface. Large edge build-ups are common and uncontrollable in this process. The part geometry can also effect the deposit's uniformity. Channels and crevices are very difficult to electroplate without receiving a large build-up on the outer edges.
PVD coating is a vacuum deposition process that has received increasing use in recent years and is no longer seen as a laboratory process. It has been scaled up to handle large complex part geometries at an affordable cost. Many companies have realized benefits from converting their product from electroplating to PVD coating. Coatings can be deposited from room temperature to as high as 500 degrees Celsius depending on the substrate and the application.
The PVD process provides a more uniform deposit, improved adhesion up to six times greater in some cases, wider choice of materials to be deposited and there are no harmful chemicals to dispose of. Because PVD coating is more environmentally friendly and chemical disposal costs are minimal, the cost of PVD coating and electroplating is very close on some products.
When product is PVD coated it is placed in a fixture and placed in the vacuum vessel. The unit is pumped down to the desired vacuum pressure. Depending on the substrate and the process used the product will be preheated and sputter cleaned. After the sputter cleaning is complete, a negative charge is applied to the cathode material and, if the substrate is conductive, a negative bias is applied to the substrate. The material being deposited arrives at the substrate at a high energy level and will travel along the substrate surface until it reaches a preferred nucleation site. The continuous bombardment of ions from the source sputters the depositing material so you do not receive the large edge build-ups that are common with electroplated coatings.
This bombardment is controlled carefully so as not to overheat the substrate. Due to the higher energy levels of the ions arriving at the surface of the product the adhesion is substantially better than that provided by electroplating. The deposition is continued until the desired coating thickness is achieved and the parts are removed from the chamber. Microprocessors control the entire deposition process to ensure consistent results each time the product is processed. Each process can be recalled through a library of stored recipes that are loaded and used for each coating process.
Take Tooling to the Next Level with TiN Coating!
Titanium nitride (TiN) coating is wear resistant, inert and reduces friction. Use it on cutting tools, punches, dies and injection mold components to improve tool life two to ten times, or more, over uncoated tools.
Medical device manufacturers use TiN coating to reduce galling between sliding components, help retain sharp edges on surgical instruments, and differentiate their products from the competition.
If you are serious about improving your manufacturing operations, coating your tools with titanium nitride is a good place to start.
TiN coating is easily stripped from tool steels. This makes TiN an ideal coating for applications that use expensive tooling such as injection molding and forming.
Thickness: .0001″ – .0002″ (2 to 5 microns) on the working surfaces.
There is some variation in coating thickness across tool surfaces. Edges collect more vapor, so they get more coating.
Factors such as process parameters, tool geometry, tool location inside the vacuum chamber, etc., can all influence how thick the coating is on a particular area of the tool.
It is possible to build up coating thickness by coating a part multiple times. As the coating gets thicker, there is a greater chance of spalling.
Hardness: 2400 – 2600 Hv (>80 Rc).
This Vickers Hardness correlates to a hardness considerably above 80 Rc. (Rockwell C is not used above 80 Rc (1850 Hv)).
Harder than Carbide.
Inert and Stable – TiN coating does not react with most materials and doesn’t begin to oxidize until about 850°F
Biocompatible – TiN coating does not react with tissue, blood, bones, or bodily fluids, making it suitable for medical, dental and food applications.
Coefficient of Friction (COF) is dependent on the type of material the coating is rubbing against; it is about 0.6 for steel alloys.
Deposition Temp. 700 – 800°F – We coat most parts at about 800°F (425°C). This temperature may adversely affect some materials. We recommend consulting with us, or your local heat treater, should you have any material concerns. This page provides additional information.
Parts can be coated at lower temperatures, but this requires process modifications that can adversely affect coating properties such as adhesion and cycle time.
Appearance – dark gold
Adhesion – Excellent adhesion as long as substrates were properly cleaned and coating process properly executed.
Removing (Stripping) TiN – This can be done chemically with little, to no, degradation to the tool surface, but only on steel alloys (stainless, tool steel, etc.).
We can not strip TiN from carbide and some other materials because the chemical used attacks the cobalt binder or the substrate material.
Stripping cost is approximately 40% of the coating cost.
Micromachining with .018 TiN-Coated Carbide End Mill
Workpiece: 303 Stainless Steel
Tip Breaks @ Failure
Uncoated (@ 30,000 rpm): 25 – 50 parts
Coated (@ 60,000 rpm): 100 – 200 parts
4x Tool Life @ 2x the Machining Rate
Save 3 of 4 Tool Changes
Eliminate 3 of 4 First Article Inspections
Coating Cost – $2.00 per tool
Where to Use TiN
All-purpose coating that significantly improves tool life by 2 – 7x over uncoated tools.
Can be applied to all types of tools, including drills, taps, end mills, reamers, inserts, dovetails, etc.
Materials that can be coated include HSS, M2, M4, T15, tool steels, carbide, stainless steels and other materials.
Punching and Forming Tools, Stamping Applications
On punches, TiN provides 2 to 10x tool life over uncoated punches.
In forming applications, TiN improves tool life and lubricity, reduces friction, and reduces or eliminates galling.
TiN-coated mold components last 2 – 8x longer than uncoated.
Improved lubricity for faster cycle times.
Better abrasion resistance when using glass-filled plastics.
Corrosion resistance when corrosive gases are formed in the molding process.
Reduces or eliminates galling between sliding mold components.
Biocompatible, FDA approved for use on medical devices.
Use TiN for edge retention on surgical instruments.
Improve device aesthetics to differentiate products from those of competitors.
Use TiN to extend the product life, improve performance and enhance the appearance of a product.
Typical applications would be firearm components, knife blades, bicycle parts, etc.
Reduces wear and galling, extends component life.
AMS 2444A is the aerospace specification for TiN coating.
Titanium Nitride is an extremely hard, inert, thin film coating that is applied primarily to precision metal parts. Titanium Nitride (TiN) is the most common PVD hard coating in use today. TiN has an ideal combination of hardness, toughness, adhesion and inertness.
Titanium Nitride (TiN) Coating
Hard (harder than carbide, 3X hard chrome)
Inert and stable material
Extremely strong adhesion—molecular bond to substrate metal.
Broad range of substrates
Broad range of thicknesses
Thin film typically 3 µm (0.000118”)thick
Uniform coating with no buildup on edges
Follows surface texture of the part.
High Temperature tolerant
Electrically conductive and non-oxidizing
Non-toxic and FDA compliant for implant use.
Resistant to most chemicals
Metallic gold appearance
Conductive – does not oxidize
Low fatigue—very high compressive stress
Environmentally friendly process
Use TiN for:
Eliminates galling, fretting, microwelding, seizing and adhesive wear
Smooth operation of moving components
Wear resistance on precision components
Holds sharp edges or corners
Non-stick surface, most materials will not adhere to TiN.
Little dimensional impact, perfect for close tolerance parts
Enhances corrosion resistance but does not perfectly encapsulate the part
Productivity improvement. Make more parts per hour. Plastic molds fill faster at lower pressures and temperatures. Cutting tools run at faster speeds and feeds.
Decrease Downtime. Longer life, less frequent tool replacement and cleanup.
Titanium Nitride Coatings General Information
Thin film coating applied by environmentally safe, Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) vacuum system
Can be applied to most metals to provide enhanced surface characteristics, and can also be applied to some ceramics and plastics
Has the appearance of gold, but is an ultra-hard material
Is harder than carbide and chrome, off the Rockwell C scale.
Is highly inert – Will not corrode and has excellent chemical resistance.
Can withstand elevated temperatures up to 600°C (1,100°F) in air.
Is non-toxic—used for medical surgical devices and food processing equipment
Is dense and non-porous
Is typically 3 micrometers or .0001” thick
Has a uniform thickness that follows the contour of the part’s surface
Forms an outstanding bond to the base material that will not blister, flake or chip
Tools typically last 3 to 10 times longer than uncoated tools.
You’ve read all about the advantages of PVD coating. You have an idea of what color you want for your final product and have determined that PVD can provide the finish you desire. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to know what types of material can be PVD coated. Based on the base material of your product, PVD may be a viable choice for metal finishing.
Base Materials for PVD Coating
Some base materials adhere better with the metal deposition than others. In order to achieve the most durable and most attractive metal finishing, it’s essential to choose the right process. Depending on the material, nickel or chrome electroplating may be required for the best outcome. Some materials take the PVD coating directly better than others.
Titanium, Graphite, Stainless Steel – Can be coated without base layers
Steel, Brass and Copper – Typically nickel/chromium electroplated before PVD processing for better corrosion resistance, but can be applied directly
Plastics, Aluminum, Zinc Castings – Typically uses the Low Temperature Arc Vapor Deposition (LTAVD) process
PVD can be coated on most metals, though some materials require a base layer of nickel and chromium in order to improve corrosion resistance.
PVD coating is a versatile process that can be used on a variety of materials, including temperature-sensitive plastics. These types of materials use the LTAVD process, which uses a lower temperature PVD process to deposit metal coatings.
Because PVD coatings can be applied to a wide spectrum of substrates, or base materials, it continues to grow in popularity for metal finishing. Depending on the gasses added during the PVD process, different colors could be achieved. Choosing PVD coatings as your metal finishing doesn’t limit your color choice to metallic, which is attractive in many industries. PVD coating shines as a strong option for both functional and decorative metal finishes.
Have questions about whether the substrate of your product can be coated using the PVD process? Contact Bend Plating for more information about PVD coating and what substrate materials work best with the process.
When it comes to long lasting metal finishes, the most critical parameter in the production process is the cleanliness of your parts prior to finishing processes. Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is no different. A perfectly clean part free of dirt, oil, and other contaminants will minimize rejects and help ensure optimal adhesion and color conformity. Here is how we clean a substrate before applying the coating.
Cleaning Before the PVD Process
The substrate, whether it is a metal alloy, plastic or glass, must be free of any oil, dirt, or contaminants to ensure desired finish characteristics. This can be challenging when the product contains complex geometry (intricate features or depressions) like with jewelry, glasses, or clocks. Air and water trapped in spaces such as spot-welds and joints causes outgassing during the coating process. Foreign gasses in the PVD vacuum chamber will affect color and adhesion. It is for these reasons that high quality metal finishers invest significant resources in cleaning equipment and skilled cleaning technicians.
There was a time when Chromium Sulphuric Acid (an extremely hazardous substance) was used for industrial cleaning purposes. Currently, industry advancements have enabled cleaning systems that are much more environmentally-friendly and as “green” as possible. While there are still chemicals in various processes, they are now far safer and free of carcinogens.
Typically, there are three ways to clean a product:
with an acidic solution,
an organic solvent,
and/or an alkaline solution.
Bend Plating has achieved a high level of success in the PVD market due to the extensive cleaning capabilities present at their Bend, OR facility. At the center of this cleaning process is their automated washline with ultrasonic soap, ultrasonic acid, a cascading de-ionized rinse, and hot air drying. Rounding out the resources found in this highly capable cleaning architecture are an overly capable environmental conditioning system, great housekeeping, and clean-committed personnel.
Bend Plating specializes in the PVD process and takes great care to make sure it’s done correctly. We monitor the cleaning methods closely in order to achieve an optimal coating. A clean surface determines an accurate layer of thin metal free of faults which will also prolong the life of the product. Call us today to discuss your PVD plating project, and we will make sure it is done properly!
Bend Plating specializes in the PVD process and takes great care to make sure it’s done correctly. We monitor the cleaning methods closely in order to achieve an optimal coating. A clean surface determines an accurate layer of thin metal free of faults which will also prolong the life of the product. Call us today to discuss your PVD plating project, and we will make sure it is cleaned properly!
Thin PVD coatings are typically deposited to give, often metal products, extra strength as well as aesthetic appeal. Almost any material can be PVD coated, but the most typical examples are using the process for stainless steel or titanium. Other materials include: chrome plated brass and all other steels.
The list of coating materials used in the PVD process include:
– TIN: titanium nitride – the first PVD hard coating to be introduced in the 1980s.
– TiCN: titanium carbon nitride; this is achieved by adding carbon to a TiN film which increases the hardness by nearly 80 per cent. TiCN is an excellent all-purpose coating, but does particularly well in the injection moulding and for increasing the life of cutting tools.
– Titanium aluminium nitride (TiAlN) or aluminium titanium nitride (AlTiN) offer oxidation resistance and can be used as a cutting tool coating and on medical components.
– ZrN: zirconium nitride. This is often used for engine valves that will operate in corrosive environments and is usually a shiny gold colour. This is known as the lifetime finish and has a hardness of 2800 Vickers or HRc-80.
– DLC (Diamond Like Carbon is Amorphous Carbon with a structure similar to diamond) is known for its super strength.
– SIOX (Silicon Oxide) can be applied on a large amount of substrates such as metals, alloys and plastics. The deposition which forms on the substrate greatly improves the properties of the product and doesn’t alter the roughness or brightness. The PVD coating is effective as it makes the coatings functional and appealing to the eye at the same time.
Examples of the best wear resistant, low friction coatings are Graphit-iC, a carbon-based coating that can be used in fluids and has particularly high load-bearing capacity.
These new low friction coatings offer many advantages over previous similar coatings because of their bonding, hardness, wear resistance and load-bearing capability.
MoST (composed of sulphur and molybdenum based thin film coatings) has been used by NASA for many years. The MoST (trademarked) coating is a “state of the art” PVD solid lubricant low friction coating based on a substance called molybdenum disulphide that offers high resistance to when used for abrasive wear and tear in load-bearing applications. In addition the MoST coating offers an ultra low friction much lower than that the well-known Teflon or graphite with a hardness of 1500-2000 Hv.
Ceramic coatings:- Hard materials suitable for thin film ceramic coatings are usually carbides, nitrides, borides and silicides. Ceramic coatings are formed by introducing nitrogen, hydrocarbon, or silicide during the sputtering process.
PVD coatings have been proven in repeated tests to bond the best to chrome plated materials and stainless steel. Some materials are not electroplated and the PVD coating in that case is applied directly to the substrate material (Titanium alloys and Graphite). Provided the material is thoroughly chrome plated with a nickel/chromium almost any material can be PVD coated.
PVD coated coloured stainless steel retail fixtures for Christian Dior by Double Stone Steel
Depending on the evaporated metal (target) and the mixture of reactive gases used during the PVD deposition process, a rainbow of different colours can be produced which can be particularly useful in design and household items and decorative interiors on aircraft, boats and shopping malls. Some shiny shades, for example, brass tones, gold, black to grey, nickel, chrome, and bronze tones are used in the watch and jewellery industries.
Ion Clad Plating and Rare Earth Ceramics expanding ring
The PVD technique is also widely applied in optics such as spectacles and sun glasses, and sensor technology. Glass and polymer are coated with layers for uses such as lamps and new reflective technology to improve the efficiency on light fittings/strips by up to 25 per cent in some cases.
Wear, scratch and corrosion resistant PVD coloured stainless steel
Our PVD coating, developed by our partner Double Stone Steel, is an innovation in the creation of coloured stainless steel making the surface significantly harder and more durable in the process. This is produced through the process of PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) Titanium Ion Plating which improves the performance of stainless steel by increasing wear, scratch and corrosion resistance making its durability far superior to conventional coating methods such as electroplating or powder-coating.
The PVD process is also more environmentally friendly than processes such as electroplating and painting, with zero discharge of gas, water waste or other residue.
Supplying products or recolouring your own selected products
We can supply proprietory fittings or take customer’s own stainless steel fittings to treat with PVD coating to any colour of your choice. We also work with suppliers and manufacturers in enhancing existing product ranges with additional colour selections.
A selection of products that are suited to our PVD coating
We can colour any stainless steel ironmongery for all environments.
Healthcare and laboratory fixtures can benefit from the PVD anti-microbial coating
Door and cabinet handles
We recolour stainless steel:
Lever door handles
We recolour stainless steel:
Decorative Interior Lighting
Decorative Interior Chandeliers
Curtain track, tiebacks and finials
We recolour stainless steel:
Curtain tracks and poles
Pull cord weights
Kitchen units and countertops
We recolour stainless steel countertops and units for:
Front of house serveries
All with Anti Microbial Finish
We recolour stainless steel:
Bath taps and mixers
Kitchen taps and mixers
Accessories and outlets
We supply and recolour stainless steel:
Balustrades and handrails
Small tools and components
We can recolour stainless steel:
Structural brackets and supports
PVD coated coloured stainless steel standard colours
PVD Availability and Suitability
PVD coloured stainless steel is available in all colours and finishes as sheet material see sizes.
PVD coloured stainless steel is suitable in all colours and finishes for interior use.
Use filters to check suitability of PVD for profiles and exterior use.
Inspection & Approval Certificates : C/W Certificate (Calibration Works Certificate) EN 10204 3.1 / DIN 50049 3.1 / ISO 10474 3.1 Mill Test Certificate, NACE MR-0103 / NACE MR-0175 / ISO 15156, CE Marked, European Pressure Equipment Directive PED-97/23/EC, AD-2000-WO, ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code Sec.II Part A Ed. 2015, API 6A (American Petroleum Institute), with 3.2 certificate duly Certified & Approved by LRS (Lloyd's Register), GL (Germanischer Lloyd), BV (Bureau Veritas), DNV (Det Norske Veritas), ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), SGS, TUV, RINA, IRS (Indian Register of Shipping), NORSOK Approved Standard M-630, M-650 Rev.3
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ROLEX METAL DISTRIBUTORS
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