Tools and components are increasingly exposed to extreme conditions, imposing ever greater demands on their surfaces. In innovative production processes (those designed to achieve greater productivity, for example), higher material removal rates – but with simultaneously better workpiece-surface quality - are a vital necessity. Developments in integrated industry, the "cyberphysical" fourth industrial revolution, ("Industrie 4.0" in German parlance) therefore necessitate optimised tools which achieve a high performance level with absolute dependability and calculable minimum service-lives. Tool development must meet these requirements and, in particular, the need for surface enhancement. Surcoatec are the experts in PVD technology and in all peripheral processes for performance-optimised modification of tool and component surfaces.
It is necessary, to achieve functionally optimised tools, to identify the primary, application-specific wear and failure mechanisms and then counteract them systematically. Hardcoatings are an excellent way of reducing wear, friction and proneness to interaction (e.g. formation of built-up edges).
Coating technology for precision tools: Vacuum arc deposition (the arc process)
The arc process (vacuum arc deposition) is the most widely used industrial PVD technology for deposition of high-performance wear-resistant coatings. Surcoatec has good reasons for utilising this process: it accounts for 85% of the global market in PVD coatings for precision tools. Unceasing further development, combined with arc technology's reliability, will continue to make it the first-choice process in the future, too.
Enormous coating variety:
- Metal coatings (Ti, Cu, Cr, Nb, etc.)
- Nitrides, carbides, oxides and mixtures of these (TiN, TiCN, AlTiN, CrN, CrCN, CrON, Cr2O3, AlCrSiN, ZrN, etc.)
- Hard carbon coatings (ta-C) (ta-C)
Coating combinations of any desired complexity are possible (single-layer coatings = monolayers, gradient layers, multi-layer coatings or nano-composites).
The arc process is used for the coating of
- Tools of all types (chip-removing, forming, primary-shaping and plastics-processing)
- Automotive components (including bucket tappets, power-train parts, etc.)
- Hydraulic components (e.g. pistons)
- Compressor blades
- General mechanical-engineering components
- Piping fittings - for decorative purposes, for instance
- Medical components and instruments
The performance of arc coatings can be optimised by selecting a preparation procedure ideally matched to the specific application. As in all modern high-performance coatings, after-treatment of the surfaces achieves further significant improvements in surface quality, since the process incorporates micro particles (droplets) into the coating. Arc-coated surfaces can be excellently smoothed and polished.
The secrets of success are: continuous further development, process-engineering know-how based on many years of experience, correct selection of the fluids and other media used for preparation and finishing, and exactly the right coating materials.