The productivity challenges are increasing day by day in stamping industry with growing demands. Stamping tools needs to perform better with good durability and better output. Surface modification techniques like physical vapor deposition (PVD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and thermal reactive diffusion (TRD) coating processes are widely used. The main objective of each process is to protect the surface of the tool or component against abrasive, adhesive, and corrosive wear while maintaining dimensions and tolerances.
The surface coating provides high hardness and low coefficient of friction on the tool surface which help the tool to run longer. The high hardness on the tool surface protects it from abrasive wear, and a low coefficient of friction provides additional lubricity, which can be particularly advantageous if the lubricant flow to the tool surface is interrupted due to tight clearances or other reasons. Both coating attributes also reduce adhesive wear, which causes galling that can lead to tool failure.
Tools are heated in a vacuum chamber to temperatures generally below the tempering temperatures of most steels used for forming and stamping tools. The pre-heating of the substrate enhances the adhesion between coatings substrate interface. Then, Advance Cathodic Arc PVD process performed in a vacuum chamber enhances the tools surface properties. SMT provides minimum 4 to 5 µm coating thickness on tools for metal stamping and forming applications. Wide range of multi-component and multilayer coatings can be deposited depending upon the tools application parameters and conditions. The multilayer structure with different hardness properties help to prevent the propagation of micro fractures from layer to layer, thereby creating an overall more durable coating.