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Don’t Change That Blade Every Hour

Ohio company has found a way to make industrial blades last all day

It’s amazing how something that can be as small as a fingernail can cause such havoc on a production line. Industrial blades—from a quarter inch square to up to 24 inches long—are used in modern manufacturing to cut food, rubber, aluminum foils, plastics, Kevlar, and a host of other fibrous and abrasive materials.

You all know that blades are only good when they are sharp. A tiny dull blade is all it takes to cause an unplanned line shutdown so your staff can clear the line, change the blade, and start over.

The irony is that the very abrasive materials they are required to cut can wear down blades so fast that it’s common for manufacturers to purposely SHUT DOWN PRODUCTION LINES EVERY HOUR to change blades—EVERY HOUR!

The downtime alone can cost manufacturers thousands of dollars a year.

Imagine the cost and hassle that could be saved if only blades could stay sharp longer.

Well, one company in Austinburg, Ohio has figured out a way to coat industrial blades so they can last up to 50 times longer.

Using nanotechnology and advanced chemical engineering, ERC SurfTech has developed proprietary coatings that are not only stronger than traditional physical vapor disposition (PVD) coatings but are applied in such a way that the original blade’s sharpness is not compromised.

The secret is combining two patented, cutting-edge technologies: The use of Ion Activation Devices (IAD), and Nanostructured Material Synthesis (NMS)

The ERC SurfTech IAD processing involves proprietary and patented plasma-based devices.

The NMS technology is based on coatings developed over the past 20 years to make state-of-the-art x-ray mirrors and space-qualified patented solid film lubricating films.

IAD and NMS together enable hard, lubricious, smooth, pour-free vacuum deposited coatings at temperatures below all known annealing temperatures (below 200°F).

Most coating houses don’t use elements that are as hard or as lubricious as ERC SurfTech’s.

Titanium is the industry standard for most coatings that are applied to blades. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’ll give it an additional durability of around three.

Most of ERC SurfTech’s coatings, however, are based on the harder boron carbide. On the same scale, it’ll be around a nine, giving, even more, durability and longevity of the blade.

SurfTech is able to use boron carbide because its coatings are built with individual atomic layers at a time. SurfTech uses plasma beams to precisely conform the nanostructures to the surface topography without changing the fine sharp cutting edges on tools.

No regrinding means sharper blade edges—just the way you designed them.

Most traditional PVD systems will bias the part to be coated. Bias is when the part is electrified to attract the molecules of the coating. The bias creates a rounded, teardrop effect on the cutting edge, affecting product quality. Most PVD coating houses have to fan the sharp edge, overcoat it, and then regrind it back to sharpness. This re-sharpening increases the chances that blade’s original geometry will be affected.

SurfTech’s process avoids all that because their coatings are applied without bias or high heat. The blade doesn’t ball at the sharpened edge, so there’s no post processing or edge prep needed. You get back what you gave them.  

Less downtime means more money toward your bottom line.

What difference do ERC SurfTech-coated blades make?

One ERC SurfTech customer now uses PVD-coated industrial razor blades to cut potato chip bags. The original uncoated blades required the line to be shut down every hour so the blades could be changed—that’s eight to ten shutdowns in a single shift. The same blades—now coated with low-heat PVD—only need to be changed at the end of every shift—that’s 10 times longer life.

The bottom line is that not every coating is the same. With the right ERC SurfTech coating, you can keep those machines running and eliminate the hassle of blade changes.


Call us at (440) 275-3356 to request a free trial. We’ll coat a sample of your blades with the ERC SurfTech coating of your choice at no cost to you!