With the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) process, the coating is formed through condensing mostly metallic materials in combination with gases, such as nitrogen. The base materials are converted from the solid state to the gaseous state and ionized by exposure to thermal energy, as in the arc process, or by kinetic energy, as in the sputtering process.
The evaporated metal is simultaneously ionized and accelerated into an electric field. The arc process achieves high ionization of the evaporated material. The deposited coating has excellent adhesion.
Schematic view of a PVD arc process.
A target is bombarded with high-energy ions, which extracts atoms and transforms them into a gaseous state. With magnetron sputtering, a wide range of materials can be sputtered.
Schematic view of a PVD sputtering process.
PVD and plasma nitriding combination (Combi Treatment)
Prior to applying the PVD hard coating, we can apply a plasma nitriding process, which optimizes your tool or component’s strength characteristics independent of the base material’s surface hardness and chemistry. Plasma nitriding is a classic thermo-chemical surface treatment. Combining PVD and plasma nitriding allows the use of tempering and lower hardening steel for tool manufacturing. The additional PVD process offers a great deal of flexibility due to the variety of available coating types and the ability to coat at temperatures around 180 °C.
The surface layer hardened in a combination process provides improved support.
PVD and P.SOLID diffusion coating
For the plastics tool and mold making industry a P.SOLID diffusion coating can be applied improving the tools durability. P.SOLID forms a passive layer on the surface of the tools and molds providing a high resistance to wear and pitting. The use of P.SOLID for corrosion resistant steels or cold working steels with high chromium content provides increased hardness without loss of corrosion protection - opposite the normal effect from standard coated surfaces. A high surface hardness up to 1.600 HV can be achieved especially for coated hot and cold working steels. Despite of a diffusion depth of 10-50 μm the coated parts stay deformation and distortion-free.
Process basics (PVD)
0.5 – 10 µm
1,000 – 4,000 HV
300 – 1,150 °C
200 – 600 °C
- Nanocomposite layer
- Gradient layer
- Micro alloyed layer
- Excellent coating adhesion even with low coating temperatures
- High production output, suitable for serial production
- Flexibility for different component shapes, sizes, and quantities
- Strong wear protection with low friction values
- Superior hardness, oxidation resistance, and reduced chemical reaction
- Cutting tools
- Primary shaping, forming, and forging tools
- Plastic processing tools
- Precision components