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Thin Film Coatings

Thin Film Coatings with Multiple Layers 

SurfTech® was the first to introduce Nanoscale Multilayer thin film coatings in 1995 for commercial use.  

Since then, our customers have benefited from the increased strength and life our thin film coatings provide their tools and components.

SurfTech Can Layer Up To Six times More Coatings Than Those Other Guys

The difference is we build multilayer thin film coatings. We build a sandwich in which we control the thickness of each layer for increased: 

  • Lubricity, 
  • Hardness, 
  • Ability to dissipate heat, and 
  • Abrasion resistance, depending on the application.   

This not only holds true for cutting tool applications but for wear components as well. You can also add multilayer thin film coatings to your products by combining any of SurfTech’s current lists of coatings.

fig. 1    fig. 1.1


This Makes Your Part, Tool, or Component Harder and Withstand Friction Better 

As a result, tool performance and tool life improve dramatically.  

In the area of machining, SurfTech customers have:  

  • increased production by reducing machine downtime [due to build-up material on edges of tools], 
  • reduced tool breakage,  
  • reduced scrap rate by holding the close tolerances and finishes,  
  • reduced tool cost by using Carbide in place of PCD and HSS in place of Carbide,  
  • Increased component life, 
  • Decreased galling wear caused by adhesion between sliding surfaces, and  
  • increased productivity by increasing speeds and feeds by as much as 50% in some cases. 

Nanotechnology: The Secret to Multi-Layer, Thin Film Coatings  

This layering is made possible by combining two patented, cuttingedge technologies: The use of Ion Activation Devices (IAD), and Nanostructured Material Synthesis (NMS)   

The SurfTech IAD processing involves proprietary and patented plasmabased devices.  

The NMS technology is based on coatings developed over the past 20 years to make stateoftheart x-ray mirrors and aerospace quality, spacequalified 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. There is no change of material hardness or toughness no matter whether the substrate is bearing steel, PCD, CBN, previously coated tools, brazed carbide, carbides, ceramics or high strength composites.   

Coatings are deposited with mean thicknesses from less than 40 micro-inches to greater than 100 micro-inches (1 -3 microns) with +/-5% tolerance which allows us to perfectly replicate the surfaces of components being coated. Corners remain sharp and surface finish is maintained with no distortion.  

What Takes Place In the Coating Chamber May Be the Most Critical Step In a Coating Process 

However, if tools and/or parts are not properly cleaned and prepared, the coating quality can be compromised. When your parts arrive to be coated, we inspect and assess their condition and then clean them. We have specific cleaning specifications for all the different types of materials we coat. They include multiple ultrasonic baths to remove all oils, dirt, or residues, which may inhibit proper coating adhesion.  After the components have been received, inspected, cleaned, and fixtured, they are loaded into our equipment where they are “re-cleaned” under vacuum by use of “ions” to assure that the component’s substrate is absolutely clean for proper coating adhesion.