Be it stamping, metal bending or metal rolling, over the years, quality assurance for metal fabrication have gotten much stricter. This means that producing parts takes longer than it did some years ago and is not a problem that can be solved with just faster laser cutting. Repeated maintenance has taken its toll on tooling life and thus require resurfacing much more frequently. However, it is important to understand that there is a certain way to go about these things, and just recoating a surface will not increase the tooling life.
Some of the key factors
Failure to get any positive results after coating can often be attributed to misinformation. This leads to a loss of faith in coating techniques. However, this is not true. Coatings do work when done thoughtfully. In the case of metal forming and stamping, the tools need to fight against harsh environments for a very long time to produce consistent results. So, applying a coating on tools is important. In order to do it effectively, some specific operations such as metal extruding, drawing, coining and forming must use tools that have been coated to ensure longer tooling life. Additionally, it is very important to consider which lubricant to use as it acts as a protective layer for the tooling. Therefore, it is important to consider the job the tool will accomplish and the lubricant that will be used along with it to effectively increase tooling life.
TiAIN and VC in extruding and drawing
The coating can have a significant impact when it comes to some of the more extreme extruding applications, such as in stainless steel fabrication, aluminium fabrication or steel fabrication, by improving tooling life many times over. This is particularly true when materials are extruded to lengths much greater than the base. Therefore, for extruding purposes, a titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) coating can be used to form a thin oxide layer on the surface of the tooling which reforms when exposes to extreme environments. This makes it very effective in high temperatures and resistant to wears and performs very well on bother steel and carbide tooling.
The same TiAIN coating works on drawing purposes but vanadium carbide (VC) is far more effective. VS is an inorganic compound providing a very hard ceramic coating. Moreover, not only does it work on carbide tooling, steel also benefits greatly from this coating.
Fighting wears in coining
Coining is slightly different and requires higher wear resistance. To add to the problems, lubrication and the coating coefficient of friction are high priority factors and need a consultation with a lubrication supplier. But for most intents and purpose, titanium nitride coating delivers effectiveness, as it is both hard and tough and lasts long, effectively lengthening tooling life.
Vanadium Carbide versus forming
In the case of forming, vanadium carbide is once again a good choice as a coating material. When forming touch metals, specifically those of the high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) standard, the VC layer on the tooling proves very high impact and wear resistance.