The Secret To Perfect PVD Coatings – Part I

PVD Coatings have successfully proven technologies for surface modification and tribological surface enhancements.

PVD refers to Physical Vapor Deposition. There are various types of PVD coating options available today. Therefore, certain standards must be met, with proper substrate and application parameters, in order to create perfect PVD Coatings.

The Cathodic Arc PVD Coating Can Guarantee:

  • Wear Resistance
  • Erosion Resistance
  • Repeatable Levels of High Performance

Differentiate each PVD coating supplier by the way they approach coating your part. A PVD Coating can, additionally, be differentiated by the way it is applied on the surface of your part. How that coating is applied can have a significant impact on the performance of the product.

Every PVD coating will come with its own advantages and disadvantages, which is based on the unique application of each tool or manufactured part. For that reason, it is necessary that relevant questions are asked, beyond the smoke and mirrors of yesterday’s slow delivery for limited solutions. At Dayton Coating Technologies, our technology provider allows you access to the process, in order to make agile changes that are driven by your immediate needs.

The Right PVD Coating Questions

It is essential that you are fully aware throughout the PVD coating process. If the relevant questions are not being asked, then a successful and solid solution can not be guaranteed. A success-oriented PVD coating team is going to help you customize your coated parts, allowing you to be involved in every step of the process. Without any of the detailed questions, there is room for information to be missed, which would have, ultimately, made the coating better for your tool.

Key Questions:

  • What specific class thickness does the application require – class 1, 2 or 3 thickness?
  • What are the masking requirements or tolerance?
  • What are the heat treat needs and hardness requirements?
  • What type of substrate is the particular tool made of?
  • What is the required surface finish, after coating?

A good PVD coating team is going to ask all of the relevant questions, in order to develop a thorough understanding of the individual part’s coating needs.

Introducing ATM (Adhesion, Thickness, Morphology)

The A of ATM stands for adhesion. Adhesion is the strength of a bond that is between the coating and your part. Adhesion is extremely crucial in determining the usefulness of your part. When it comes to all PVD coatings, they are, ultimately, only as good as how well they can adhere to the surface of your manufactured part. Some of the wear-resistant coatings can, actually, share similar performance properties. Even secondary issues, regarding T for Thickness, can carry just as much significance.

The M of ATM stands for Morphology. Morphology is the structural differences between the coatings that are tertiary, which can depend on your application. Coatings like TiCN are easily burned off, if run at too high of a temperature. In contrast, AlTi- or AlCr-based coatings will erode, if not pushed hard enough. A failure to build surface temperature can quickly result in no surface Oxides forming at all.

Adhesion is the most important factor for determining how useful the coating is on a part. Careful handling and knowledgeable inspection can easily identify oxides, iron nitrides (white layer) and other adhesion inhibitors that will drastically reduce a tools performance. A coating should not be any less than an HF2 adhesion at the working surface.

If planned and communicated correctly, no matter the application, a project can essentially yield a perfect PVD coating. So what is the key to ensuring that all PVD coated parts are successful, repeatable and efficient? Proper surface preparation, prior to the PVD coating process on your manufactured part.

Follow along in our series to Part II, understanding PVD Coatings and our problem-solving acronym ATM.

Customer Success Guaranteed in Every PVD Coating

Allow Dayton Coating Technologies to help you improve the overall performance of your tools. Our high-quality team has the experience, technology and strategies that are necessary, in order to bring our customers reputable, repeatable solutions. We make sure that you are involved in every step of the process, providing you a better PVD coated product. Contact us, today, to get started!