Ionbond’s coating solution for machining of non-ferrous materials for EU manufacturing industry

Are you looking to increase the performance of your cutting tools for machining non-ferrous materials? Ionbond has a coating solution that helps combat built-up edges, abrasive wear and more. It was designed specifically to allow you to make use of the great material properties of these materials, while increasing manufacturing efficiency.

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The challenge of machining these important materials

Non-ferrous materials are extensively used in manufacturing applications in multiple industrial sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, marine, construction, electronics, energy, decorative and medicine. They have unique properties like rust and corrosion resistance, and are non-magnetic, lightweight, thermally conductive and malleable. This makes them invaluable materials for applications that contribute to the performance, efficiency, and longevity of systems and structures. What exactly are non-ferrous materials? They span a wide range, including noble metals, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, zinc alloys, magnesium alloys, plastics, ceramics and composite materials like fiberglass epoxy and CFRP.

One of the issues of machining most non-ferrous metals is thermal softening, which causes workpiece material to stick to the cutting edge. This increases tool wear and deteriorates performance. Sharp cutting edges can apply more concentrated cutting forces and minimize the ploughing effect. Another challenge of machining some non-ferrous materials, like aluminum alloys with high Si content, is excessive abrasive wear, due to the materials’ high hardness.

Tetrabond Plus - Rainbow

Ionbond’s Tetrabond™ Plus – sharper cutting edges and exceptional wear resistance

Ionbond developed the Tetrabond Plus coating specifically for machining of non-ferrous materials. It possesses extremely high hardness and low affinity towards these materials. Tetrabond Plus is an advanced ta-C (tetrahedral carbon) coating with a sp3 content of 60 – 80% and a hardness of over 5000HV. The thin, smooth, extremely hard coating is designed to maintain the sharpness of the cutting edge, which is critical for machining non-ferrous materials. With its high hardness, good thermal stability, very low coefficient of friction, and anti-sticking properties, Tetrabond Plus is excellent at suppressing the formation of built-up material on the cutting edge. This results in considerable improvement of tool lifetime during machining of non-ferrous materials.

Reference ta C vs Tetrabond Plus small

Test results confirm the quality of Tetrabond Plus. During functional tests in machining of AlSi10 alloy, an OEM cutting tool manufacturer found minimal wear on Tetrabond Plus compared to the reference ta-C coating (see figure). Tetrabond Plus effectively supresses abrasive and adhesive wear during machining of such abrasive and sticky alloys.

Image: Flank wear on the cutting edges of Ø6 mm solid carbide drills after 300 holes in AlSi10 alloy with a cutting speed of 100m/min in wet conditions.

Properties of the Tetrabond™ Plus ta-C coating

Because of its extremely high hardness, a thick Tetrabond Plus coating of 2.0 – 2.5 µm (known as T-Tetrabond Plus) can also be used as alternative to chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond coatings for machining carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials.

High sp3 content

For extremely high hardness and exceptional wear resistance

Extremely dense microstructure and smooth surface

Very low coefficient of friction

Very low sticking tendency

Very thin coating

Less than 0.5 – 1.0 µm. Ensuring that the cutting edges remain sharp

Examples of applications where Tetrabond™ Plus coating excels

Machining of non-ferrous materials and Al alloys with high Si content

Machining graphite, composite materials, Al-Mg matrix materials, brass and bronze (low or no lead content)

Machining of PEEK, epoxy resins, plastics, fiberglass and green ceramics

Dry applications or with minimal lubrication

Drilling and milling applications

Interested in exploring Tetrabond™ Plus?

To address the growing demand from the EU manufacturing industry, we are pleased to now provide Tetrabond™ Plus at Ionbond Germany’s plant in Saxony. Ionbond Germany offers three following versions of the coating: R-Tetrabond Plus (< 0.5 µm), G-Tetrabond Plus (0.6 – 1.0 µm) and T-Tetrabond Plus (2.0 – 2.5 µm). Would you like to explore the benefits of Tetrabond Plus for your application? Get in touch with our expert below. We would be happy to discuss the options with you.

Get in touch

Discuss your challenges with Kalpak Shaha

Dr. Kalpak Shaha, Global Segment Manager Cutting Tools, will be glad to support you.

We will get back to you as soon as possible

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Dr. Kalpak Shaha