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        IBED vs. PVD Coatings  
 


The high degree of process control provided by the IBED process allows deposition of hardcoatings such as titanium nitride (TiN) having better mechanical properties than the TiN coatings deposited by conventional Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) processes. A qualitative measurement of hardcoating durability and adhesion can be made using a Rockwell C indent test.

IBED Coating
click image for larger view

PVD Coating
click image for larger view

IBED Titanium Nitride Hardcoating
(VDI-3198 Indent Test, 200X magnification)

PVD Titanium Nitride Hardcoating
(VDI-3198 Indent Test, 200X magnification)

There are no radial fracture lines with tearing of the coating on the conical indent surface indicating excellent cohesion within the coating. Some radial fracture lines with very slight tearing of the coating are seen beyond the indent perimeter. The darkened areas on the conical indent are dirt particles transferred from the diamond indenter to the indented surface. The absence of multiple cracked coating islands indicates excellent adhesion to the hardened steel substrate under conditions of high stress. The high density of radial fracture lines within the conical indent and beyond the indent perimeter indicate poor coating cohesion and high coating friability. The presence of cracked coating islands in the conical indent and at the indent perimeter margin, many of which have delaminated, indicates marginal adhesion to the hardened steel substrate under conditions of high stress.

Hardcoatings are deposited on a polished, hardened steel coupon (RC >60) to a thickness of between 1 and 3 microns. A standard Rockwell diamond indenter is used to indent the surface for a C scale measurement (150 Kg). The indented area is examined at a magnification of 100X and the cracking pattern is observed. Hardcoatings with good cohesion show little or no fracture lines extending radially from the center of the indent outward towards and beyond the perimeter of the circular indent. Also, no cracked islands appear in the indent crater or along the crater perimeter.

Hardcoatings with good adhesion show no delamination of the coating either in the crater or adjacent to the coating perimeter. Improved mechanical properties plus the low deposition temperature makes the use of these IBED deposited hardcoatings feasible for a wider range of industrial applications.

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8270 Estates Parkway
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