Vapor Deposition Techniques: PVD | Epic Tool
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Vapor Deposition Techniques: PVD

Aircraft Manufacturing

Vapor deposition techniques are the preferred processes for thin coatings because the techniques produce products with superior hardness, wear resistance, smoothness and oxidation resistance on tools such as end-mills, drills and reamers. These thin coatings made through vapor deposition are typically able to function in unique, high-stress environments.

Of the two general categories of vapor deposition techniques which include chemical and physical coatings, physical coatings- also known as Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), are a newer and more sophisticated process. As the process transfers the coating material as a single atom or on the molecular level, physical coatings can provide extremely pure and high performance coatings which for many applications can be preferable to other methods used.

PVD Diagram

PVD It is a line-of-sight coating process, effective for improving the life and overall performance of a tool or component, thereby reducing the per-part manufacturing cost. These coatings are usually thinner and include metals, metalloids and compounds such as titanium, titanium nitride, titanium carbonitride, aluminium titanium nitride and chromium nitride.

PVD involves a number of steps. The tools are processed through a vacuum chamber,

in heat conditions that reach up to 490 degrees celsius. First, a solid precursor material is gasified, typically through the use of high-power electricity or laser. The gasified atoms are then moved into a reacting chamber where the coating substrate is located. Source material atoms then stick to the substrate, forming a thin coat. There are no chemical reactions that take place in the entire process.

These coatings can reduce friction and provide a barrier against damage. The applications for these coatings are ever expanding. Aerospace, automotive, defense, manufacturing and more where long lasting durability is crucial.

PVD Within the Aerospace Industry

PVD is a process applied to components across many industries apparent in our world, including the automotive, aerospace, and aviation industries.

More specifically, within the aerospace industry, machine tough alloys, such as Inconel, stainless steel, and lightweight alloys, such as titanium and aluminium, long tubular components are produced that include vertical stabilizer screws, flap actuators, strut supports and miscellaneous landing gear components. These components must be extremely precisely engineered in order to successfully and efficiently do their jobs. Following the line of production backwards, it is already known of the fundamental role that tooling plays in ensuring that the flight of a plane, or the take-off of a ship is successful.

Manufacturing tooling that is critical to engineering success is particularly useful in aerospace because materials, specifically, Ti-1023, Ti-5553 and beta titanium, are all high strength, lightweight and corrosion resistant—and notoriously hard to machine. These materials used to make jet engines have a high tensile strength that exert a high degree of stress on the microgeometry of the material they’re machined with, which is why PVD methods on these tools assist in making the components that make up the entire bodies of jets and ships, light-weight, high strength and successful.

The most common tools used to develop components within the aerospace industry are

high feed radius miller cutters, solid carbide drills, multi-functional index cutters and end mills with substantially high wear resistance, for example, end mills treated with PVD methods along with many more types of tools.

Learn more about the CNC-tooling and their dynamics by visiting our website or contacting us for any inquiries at (905) 664-9531.