CERATIZIT and LIST Develop New PVD Coatings

CERATIZIT Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) will jointly develop high temperature resistant PVD coatings for the next generation of metal cutting tools by 2020. The cooperation agreement was signed by the project partners at the headquarters of the CERATIZIT Group in Mamer.

Indexable cutting inserts and other carbide tools are required for the production of numerous components in automotive, aerospace, machine engineering, energy and other industries. In order to increase performance and tool life, they are already, to a large extent, being manufactured with coatings.

High-performance machining and minimum quantity lubrication

Recent trends in the machining industry, such as the increasing demand for high-speed machining tools and the concept of minimum quantity lubrication (MQL), which requires minimal cooling lubricant for reasons of safety, environmental protection and cost, will require even more efficient coatings in the future that work reliably even at temperatures exceeding 850 degrees Celsius.

Researchers from the Luxembourg-based hard material specialist CERATIZIT and LIST will be working over the next three years on the optimisation of titanium nitride and aluminium nitride coatings measuring just a few microns in thickness, applied by means of physical vapour deposition (PVD) on carbide tools. This will be done within the framework of NANOPIMS project (the name is derived from the nano unit prefix and the HiPIMS deposition process). The project is funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) of Luxembourg.

15 to 30 percent longer tool life

The project particularly focuses on the chemical composition of the coatings, their micro-structure, adhesion to the carbide tool, and resistance to plastic deformation and wear. By optimising the PVD coatings in these areas,the tool life of indexable inserts is to be increased by 15 to 30 percent. In addition, NANOPIMS promises new insights with regard to the improvement of oxidation and wear resistance of PVD coatings under high temperature conditions.

Long-standing collaboration

The NANOPIMS project is the next step in a successful and long-standing collaboration between CERATIZIT and LIST, which began in 2009 with the development of PVD coatings. In recent years, the collaboration has included research on hard nanocomposite coatings for high temperature application, as well as new concepts for the development of hard material coatings.