HIPERCUT - Protective layers undergo endurance testing
Where wood is chopped, splinters must fall. This proverb not only applies to wood, the same applies to metalworking. And just as an ax becomes blunt, metal cutting tools also wear down. A thin coating, however, would make specialized tools more heat resistant and durable.
The project HIPERCUT is dedicated to finding such a coating for cutting tools that can not only withstand high temperatures, but can also be applied reliably, seamlessly and precisely. At the same time, none of the components in the precious powder must be allowed to go to waste.
The project therefore investigated several things at the same time:
- the coating (structure and composition);
- the deposit (during the coating process) and
- recovery of the materials deployed.
The research partners are therefore not just turning one screw, they are optimizing all process steps at the same time. Material and process are thoroughly examined, new coatings compared with forged material, tested many times and assessed for practical relevance.
Making traditional coatings more heat resistant
First, conventional aluminum nitride (TiAlN) coatings have to be rendered more heat resistant - up to a minimum of 1000° Celsius - with new alloys. This so that cutting tools can withstand the heat produced by friction longer, or that work pieces can be processed more quickly.
The project results suggest that amalgamating TiAlN and zirconium extend the cutting tools’ service life. These experimental indications will be consolidated and tested for industrial application.
Another part of the project concerns new coating-powder mixtures and improving deposition on the tools, i.e. the coating itself. This is done by means of sputtering targets and metal powder mixtures using a magnetron cathode. For this reason cathodes are also being optimized on the computer, where the reaction process is exactly simul ated for the new alloyed TiAlN layers.
Other Consortium Partners
- Boehlerit GmbH & Co KG
- Montanuniversitaet Leoben
- RHP-Technology GmbH