The best of two worlds - Ionbond™ 42 for forming high-strength aluminum
As one of the global leaders in PVD, CVD and PACVD coating technology, Ionbond™ had the foresight to spot an important global automotive engineering trend years ago – lightweight design. This trend aims to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy while maintaining strength for passenger safety purposes, and has catapulted the use of high-strength aluminum into the limelight. The pinnacle of this trend so far was the introduction of the all-aluminum body of the Ford F-150™ truck in 2015.
New trends bring new challenges
Forming high-strength aluminum brings challenges from a tooling and tool coating perspective. The two primary challenges are adhesion (sticking) of the aluminum to the surface of the tool and abrasion from the aluminum oxide on the tool’s surface and the silicon in the aluminum alloy. These challenges are even more pronounced when no lubrication is used or the boundary lubrication layer breaks, as they can lead to machine downtime, reduced production and high scrap rate.
Ionbond’s low-friction, abrasion-resistant coatings
To reduce the impact of adhesion and abrasion on the forming process for high-strength aluminum, Ionbond offers a multilayer CrN + a-C:H (DLC+nitride) coating in many of our 35 coating centers in Europe, Asia and North America, under the brand name Ionbond™ 42. Ionbond™ 42 has a proven track record in the Ionbond™ coating portfolio for trimming and piercing high-strength aluminum.
The family of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings provides excellent protection against adhesion and abrasion and can exhibit a range of properties. Their low coefficient of friction and anti-sticking behavior make hydrogenated DLC (a-C:H) coatings attractive solutions for forming high-strength aluminum. However, forming processes also generate high impact and shear forces and involve abrasive loading. This requires an optimized coating architecture that supports the C:H coatings with sufficient toughness against impact fatigue and resistance against abrasion. That is where nitride hard coatings such as CrN demonstrate their strengths. Ionbond™ 42 combines the best of the worlds of DLC and nitride hard coatings.
Would you like to know more about Ionbond 42™?
If you want to learn more about the background of forming high-strength aluminum, and about the development process of our Ionbond™ 42 coating, read our article in Stamping Journal. To discuss your aluminum forming application and increasing your production process and product quality with Ionbond™ 42, please send an email to Tobias Brögelmann, Ionbond’s Global Segment Manager Forming & Molding tools at formingmoldingionbond.com.