Plasma Nitriding

Boost the performance of your forming application

Plasma nitriding and PVD/PACVD coating: a powerful combination

Forming operations are highly prone to wear, abrasion, adhesion, surface breakdown and tribo-chemical reactions. That is why the forming industry uses surface treatments and coatings to extend the lifetime of forming tools and increase their performance. For this sector, Ionbond offers duplex coating solutions, which gives excellent results for forming tools. These , consists of a plasma nitriding step followed by a physical vapor deposition (PVD) or plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) coating.



Ionbond™ Duplex Coating Portfolio: FMT Case Studies

Download the case studies to get an insight and discover the power of Ionbond's Duplex Coatings and improve the performance and productivity of your Forming & Molding Tools.

Ionbond™ Duplex Coating Portfolio: FMT Case Studies

Download Ionbond™ Duplex Coating Portfolio: FMT Case Studies

The benefits of Nitriding

Nitriding is a process to create a hard surface with a high resistance to abrasive wear and thermo-mechanical fatigue. It is a low-cost, thermomechanical diffusion processes that can be done at temperatures low enough to not require heat treatment afterwards. During the nitriding process, the surface layer of a tool becomes enriched with nitrogen. In principle, all steels and cast irons can be nitrided, although the presence of nitride-forming alloying elements such as chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo), aluminum (Al) and vanadium (V) creates better results.

The nitrided surface layer, which grows into the base material, consists of two main areas: the compound layer and the diffusion zone. These layers have different properties, which are also dependent on the alloying elements, which means that nitriding has a wide range of applications.

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Plasma nitriding

Plasma nitriding is a nitriding method with high reproducibility and close tolerances in the treatment result. It is also more environmentally friendly than the traditional gas nitriding. Due to the precise process control, plasma nitriding can achieve a lower surface roughness than alternative technologies such as bath and powder nitriding. Optimized process control can also reduce the thickness of the compound layer, which has low adhesion.

Case study 1 – aluminum high-pressure die casting

Aluminum high-pressure die casting (HPDC) is one of the most demanding forming applications, which is not economically feasible without the use of duplex PVD coatings. The most important challenges are soldering of the material, erosion and heat checking. PVD and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) coatings successfully combat the effects of soldering and erosion. But, since they do not change the thermal profile of the tool, plasma nitriding is required. For one of our customers, duplex Ionbond™ 22 on dies made of H13 hot work steel resulted in a 1,400% productivity improvement, with much less soldering and no heat checking.



Case study 2 – hot forging steel

Another demanding application is hot forging steel, which is not economically feasible without the use of duplex PVD coatings. PVD and CVD coatings can add hot hardness and temperature stability. Plasma nitriding of the die increases its thermo-mechanical fatigue resistance. A 350% productivity improvement was observed at one of our customers, using duplex Ionbond™ 30 on dies made of H13 hot work steel.





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Dr. Ing. Tobias Brögelmann

Dr. Ing. Tobias Brögelmann

Global Segment Manager Forming and Molding

+31 6 15 28 64 43 [email protected]