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voestalpine eifeler Coatings has developed a series of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coatings for the cutting tool industry. The main coating materials are titanium nitride (TiN), titanium carbonitride (TiCN), and a family of titanium aluminum nitride and titanium aluminum nitride (AlTiN/TiALN) coatings.
TiN is one of the oldest coatings and is considered a generic coating to some extent for many applications. TiN provides a lower coefficient of friction and superior cratering resistance compared to an uncoated tool, it will also increase tool life in most non-exotic workpiece materials. TiN has a golden color, differentiating the coating from the substrate.
Titanium Carbon Nitride (TiCN) is a very hard coating with a low coefficient of friction that works well on stainless steel, alloyed aluminum like 6061, and standard materials like 4140, 1018, etc., outperforming TiN in most cases. TiCN does not perform well when extreme heat is generated at the cutting point. In alloyed aluminum TiCN is preferred, in brass, copper, bronze and unalloyed aluminum or other soft rubbery materials ZrN (zirconium nitride) is preferred.
Titanium Aluminum Nitride (AlTiN – eifeler Varianta) and Titanium Aluminum Carbonitride (TiAlCN – eifeler Variantic) were developed to increase tool life in the most exotic or pre-hardened applications.
The unique stoichiometry of these coatings allows them to operate at elevated temperatures during the cutting process. In addition, eifeler’s Exxtral Blue, Sistral and Crosal were designed to extend tool life beyond the norm in extremely difficult-to-machine materials.