Material shaping and forming requires tools which can withstand degradation induced by abrasive or tribochemical wear. Over the past decade a lot of efforts have been made to develop hard surface coatings like TiN, TiC, Al203 and diamond using the physical vapour deposition (PVD) and chemical vapour deposition (CVD) processes.
The ever increasing demands for high precision machining and increased cutting performance, in terms of cutting speed and lifetime, require wear resistant tools of large dimensional accuracy that have very sharp cutting edges and/or that are easily re sharpened. All these requirements cannot be fulfilled presently by the classical PVD and CVD technologies since they result in overlay coatings. A possible alternative would be ion implantation but the conventional beam line ion implantation actually in use does not allow the treatment of complex shaped parts such as cutting and forming tools.
Recently, a new development in the field of ion implantation has appeared, known as plasma immersed ion implantation (PIII). This process bypasses the aforementioned limitations since the workpieces are immersed into a plasma conformably surrounding it. The ions in the plasma are accelerated by voltage pulses and enter directly into the workpieces, resulting in chemical and microstructural changes of the target surface.
The technical relevance of PIII is linked to the cost reduction in comparison to conventional ion implantation and the possibility to implant in a homogeneous and controlled way non metallic and metallic elements in three dimensional targets without any dimensional modification.
The objective of this project is to evaluate the potentialities and limitations of the PIII technique for developing high precision machining tools which are not limited by failures due to coating deadhesion, by losses of sharpness of cutting edges, by lack of toughness of base tool materials, and by hazardous resharpening procedures.
The PlII process will be optimized using a step by step process consisting of laboratory evaluation tests and field performance tests. The PIII technique will be used to modify the surfaces of tools made of hardenable steels, ultrafine cemented carbides and cermets used in high precision machining operations of stainless steel, aluminium silicon alloys and cast iron.
The consortium consists of five partners. Two research centers have complementary skills in PIII technology and the evaluation of surface modified materials. respectively, and two industrial companies have a long standing experience in the development and production of hard materials for tools, and the production and testing of high quality tools, respectively. These two companies will also participate as end users together with another company active in materials machining. In this way, criteria of good practice of PIII will be elaborated for the manufacturing of highly performing precision tools in an
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
01314 Weissig - Dresden