In the highly competitive world of cutting tools, Ionbond supports tool producers with a global network of coating centers. Experienced Ionbond engineers bring the specialist knowledge to help select the right coating for each application, whether mainstream or niche. Mario Fusaro, Ionbond’s Global Segment Manager for Cutting Tools, says: “We have a broad range of physical and chemical vapor deposition (PVD and CVD) coating technologies and expertise in our coating centers around the world, to help our customers achieve better quality and performance for their tools.”
Matching coating and application to increase profitability
The cutting tool industry is large and varied, working with materials that span the range from easy to machine to very difficult to machine and from highly commonplace to rare and novel. Mario: “As you can imagine, there is a big difference between the tools needed for conventional or high speed machining, and for soft, sticky materials or hard, brittle ones. This informs the choice of material for the cutting tool itself. And the right surface engineering solution provides helpful properties, such as sharp or rounded cutting edges, high hardness, temperature resistance, and a low coefficient of friction.”
The best in specialist premium coatings
Two of Ionbond’s most advanced tool coatings are Optimizer™ Plus and Tetrabond™ Plus. For wet and dry machining at medium to high speeds, Optimizer™ Plus is the high-quality coating of choice. This AlCrN-based coating is the top of the Ionbond product line and is known for its excellent adhesion, toughness, and temperature and abrasion resistance, plus a smoothness that requires no or limited post-treatment. With Optimizer™ Plus, you can get the highest performance out of your tools for milling, drilling, hobbing and bevel gearcutting of a high variety of steels, stainless steels, cast irons and titanium alloys.
Tetrabond™ Plus, on the other hand, is an advanced hydrogen-free carbon coating for machining of non-ferrous materials as well as composites and plastics. These coatings are thin, smooth and extremely hard, for the best cutting edge sharpness over time, even when machining abrasive materials. In addition, the coating also provides excellent anti-sticking properties for machining soft materials such as gold, silver, copper and bronzes that have a tendency to build up on the sharp cutting edge. Because tools coated with Tetrabond™ Plus can be reground and recoated, that makes it an economical, sustainable choice.
A wide range of other coating options
Optimizer™ Plus and Tetrabond™ Plus are far from the only choices Ionbond offers. There are over 25 Ionbond coatings that are suitable for cutting tools, made up of different materials, deposited at different temperatures and with different technologies, and conveying different surface properties.
Mario affirms: “Ionbond engineers would be happy to spend the time determining the right coating for your application needs. They would start include the ISO type of your workpiece material, take an in-depth look at the current results and the failure mode of your tools, and work with you to specify which performance improvements you need. In most cases, your nearest Ionbond facility would have all the expertise you need to start production. And for the other cases, you would reap the benefit of our deep and varied expertise all around the globe.”