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Hauzer: excellent results with HIPIMS and HIPIMS+ technology

Plasma coating specialist Hauzer Techno Coating, has further developed its High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering technologies HIPIMS and HIPIMS+.
According to the Netherlands-based company, HIPIMS …

Plasma coating specialist Hauzer Techno Coating, has further developed its High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering technologies HIPIMS and HIPIMS+. According to the Netherlands-based company, HIPIMS provides excellent results for etching the substrate surface, whereas HIPIMS+ is very suitable for a dense and defect-free coating with a high deposition rate. The two technologies can be used separately or in combination and have been scaled to industrial production equipment. At the start of HIPIMS technology, it soon became clear that a third dimension had been given to Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) hard coatings, Lucien Peeters, product manager at Hauzer Techno Coating explains. Arc evaporation and magnetron sputtering are considered to be the first two dimensions. HIPIMS is the third dimension, because it combines the advantages of high ionization like arc evaporation with the advantages of magnetron sputtering. The result is good adhesion and a dense, very smooth coating. HIPIMS technology is extremely suitable for etching. Due to the high peak power of up to 8 MW, the atoms sputtered with HIPIMS will enter into the substrate to give a dense, columnar layer with a strong adhesive character. Coating with HIPIMS is also possible, but it has a deposition rate considerably lower than present sputter technologies. At Hauzer we developed HIPIMS+ technology to lift coating with high power to an industrial level. HIPIMS+ boosts the ionization of the sputter process at a higher deposition rate, comparable to arc technology, and results in a dense and defect-free coating. HIPIMS+ combines the advantages of arc technology, high deposition rate and good adhesion, while producing a smooth sputtered coating. In the past few months, many research and development steps have been taken and the coatings have been tested by tool manufacturers and job coaters worldwide. The results are very positive. From the beginning HIPIMS and HIPIMS+ technology promised to achieve an extremely smooth coating, Peeters continues. This is an important feature in the precision tool industry. We have compared TiAlN coatings (50:50); one made by arc evaporation and another by HIPIMS+ technology. We found that the coating deposited by HIPIMS+ technology is at least a factor ten smoother than the one made with arc technology. Furthermore with HIPIMS+ the same fine grain structure can be achieved that can be expected from arc evaporation. Smoothness is not the only important feature for tool coatings. When coating a tool with arc evaporation technology, there is a limit to the possible hardness without creating too much residual stress in the coating. Peeters: With HIPIMS+ technology it is possible to achieve a tuneable residual stress while maintaining a high hardness. The coatings produced with HIPIMS+ technology have been tested by tool manufacturers and job coaters worldwide. The tests show that HIPIMS+ technology provides better performance results for many different tools, Lucien Peeters says. For example milling inserts show a 30% better performance with a HIPIMS+ TiAlN coating, compared to the benchmark coating deposited with arc technology. Another test shows excellent results achieved with inserts used for thread turning. Compared with the benchmark multi-layer arc coating, the TiAlN coating deposited with HIPIMS+ technology gives more than 60% more cutting distance on average. On end mills the flank wear is 20% less when the HIPIMS+ coating is used, compared with the benchmark TiAlN arc coating. TiAlN coating is not the only coating produced by HIPIMS+ technology that shows a good result. Peeters: Cr2N coatings produced with HIPIMS+ show good results on moulds and dies and TiN and TiCN coatings are successful for taps and other tools. Conclusion: the experimental phase of HIPIMS and HIPIMS+ technologies is definitely over, both technologies are industrially viable and provide many opportunities to improve coatings for the precision tool industry.

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