ICMCTF2006 Session G7-1: Advances in Industrial Deposition Equipment and Metrology for Coatings and Thin Films

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 8:30 AM in Room Royal Palm 4-6

Wednesday Morning

Time Period WeM Sessions | Abstract Timeline | Topic G Sessions | Time Periods | Topics | ICMCTF2006 Schedule

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8:30 AM G7-1-1 A Review on Technological Advances in PVD Equipment from Thermal Evaporation to Pulsed Plasma Deposition
G. Erkens, R. Cremer (CemeCon AG, Germany)
The known PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating processes like ion implantation, low-voltage arc evaporation, ARC evaporation, cathode sputtering, High Ionization Sputtering (H.I.S.) and High Ionization Pulsing (H.I.P.) are applied to modify the surface characteristics of tools and components providing all types of functionality from increased wear resistance and better friction properties to decorative qualities. Common to all processes is their line-of-sight characteristic. In addition, there are significant differences and restrictions created by the method of transferring the target material into the vapor phase. Modern coating systems, and here especially the metastable systems are to be pointed out, are produced without exception in batch coating units. PVD processes used for large scale production are characterized through the fact that coatings can be deposited in the temperature range of 160-500°C. The coating unit systems have to be efficient, flexible, process reliable and fully automatic. Since a large number of individually adapted coatings for different applications in short delivery times are required, any coating plant system has to be so flexible that it is able to economically produce all coatings in small and big series. Most modern batch coating systems should be capable to fulfill at least all these demands. They should be flexible due to a modular and adaptable design. Since the seventies PVD processes and the various related technologies have been gaining more and more importance in the market as the challenges of the manufacturers and end users become steadily more diverse and more specific. A survey of the main approaches to the different PVD technologies, processes and related high performance coatings during the last decades will be given as well as an outlook for the upcoming trends.
9:10 AM G7-1-3 Industrial Production of Novel PVD and CVD Coatings - Challenges to Equipment Manufacturing
R. Bonetti, E. Denisse (Ionbond AG Olten, Switzerland); H. Curtins (Ionbond Swisscoating, Switzerland); I. Dolchinkov (Ionbond AG Olten, Switzerland); M. Auger (Ionbond AG, Switzerland)
Protective coatings for wear and corrosion resistant coating applications enjoy a strong evolution. New coatings are continually being proposed by R&D facilities and universities for industrial application with the developments focused upon new compositions, structures, and coating architectures. It is the task of the equipment manufacturer to scale-up from laboratory to industrial volumes. The success of any new coating ultimately depends on the ability to produce it at a reasonable cost with consistent quality while observing national and international safety, health, and environmental standards. Coating service providers must also cope with the constantly changing needs of the market and should provide on short notice application tailored coatings. The key to accomplish all of these diverse requirements is to define the most suitable process and coating equipment for a given task. The paper will fully define the criteria to select the most suitable coating to apply for a given work-piece in a given application among the different PVD-, PE-CVD-, and especially CVD- processes. These criteria will then be transferred to the design requirements of the coating equipment with the additional complication of observing characteristic parameters for reliable scale-up to an industrial process. Case studies will further illustrate how the requirements of international standards e.g. ISO 9001-2000, 14000 can be fulfilled for the entire coating process including pre- and post coating treatments.
9:50 AM G7-1-5 Ways to Improve PVD- and PACVD-Equipment
R. Herb (Balzers Ltd., Liechtenstein)

It even applies to PVD equipment: bigger, better, faster. Considering the enormous number of machine manufacturers, competitiveness today is only possible with the best hardware. Faster pumping, faster coating, more coatings, less consumables, lower maintenance costs; these are the main priorities of PVD machine users. There are several developments to fulfill all these requirements. But even the best coating machine is a worthless investment if it does not also produce the best coatings.

It is possible, in addition to the standard pumping system, to employ so-called cold traps, which freeze the residual gas at cold surfaces. Instead of using oil-driven roughing pumps, the practically maintenance-free dry pumps are recommended. Today, it is often possible to operate at substantially higher process pressures and gas flows and at the same time to increase coating rates by a factor of 2 - 3 without sacrificing coating quality. Today, PVD coatings are manufactured using low-voltage arc, sputter or arc technology. The objective of many arc source developments (steered arc, LARC, NDAJTM, etc.) is to steer the arc as quickly as possible across the entire target surface. A high gas and molecule ionization rate during the coating process is crucial for the speed of coating and quality of the coating structure. Additional magnetic fields or an additional plasma arc make facilitate this. Pulsed or high-frequency voltage supplies have been developed for sources or as a substrate supply enabling fast and new processes. Rapid substrate heating and rapid cooling at vacuum conditions present further challenges to modern machine manufacturers.

But just as important as the machine itself are the peripherals and interfaces. In the end, either the best package or best synergy of machine, coatings and peripherals is the one that will win the race.

10:30 AM G7-1-7 Integration of High Performance Coating Units with LARC-Technology into Manufacturing Processes of SMEs
T. Cselle (PLATIT, Switzerland)

The real spreading of the coating technology is achieved when the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) use the coating units for their tools, molds, dies and even for their products on their shop floor. This coating technology should be reliable, simple to operate, but it has to work on the highest technological level to produce high performance coatings. The LARC®-technology (LAteral Rotating Cathodes) meets these requirements.

The presentation introduces the core features of this technology focused on applications, realized by their users worldwide: 1) Modular design for using in small, medium size and large series. 2) Deposition of Nanocomposites to avoid limitations of conventional coatings. 3) Advantages of the integrated coating into the manufacturing process. 4) Applications in the tooling, molding, car and aircraft industries.

11:10 AM G7-1-9 Recent Progress in PVD Process for Hard Coating; from Nano-Structured Coating to Aluminum Oxide Film
K. Yamamoto, S. Kujime, K. Takahara, H. Fuji, T. Kohara, H. Tamagaki (Kobe Steel Ltd., Japan)
The requirement for a modern PVD coater for hard coatings is very high; it should be capable of depositing various kinds of coatings system to meet the ever-evolving demand from the industries. The core technology of a PVD coater is concentrated in designing, arrangement and operation of the evaporation sources. This presentation will be composed of three parts. The first part will present designing and development of a magnetically steered arc source system. In this part, we will going to introduce deposition of nano-crystalline (Ti,Cr,Al)N coatings with high Al contents using a newly developed planar type arc source and an unique arc discharge controlling technology for a rod shaped cathode. The second part will feature a hybrid coating system that comprises arc sources and UBM source installed in a same deposition chamber. The uniqueness of this hybrid coating system is emphasized in simultaneous deposition mode where arc and UBM sources are discharged simultaneously. This deposition mode leads to a formation of multilayer system in nanometer scale with unmatched coatings properties such as hardness, oxidation resistance and wear resistance. Examples of nano-multilayered coatings and their properties will be presented. The last part will focus on our recent breakthrough in oxide coating deposition technology. Successful process development of PVD crystalline alpha-alumina deposition will be presented. The PVD deposition of alpha-alumina has been one of the most anticipated PVD technologies, but never realized so far. The key to synthesize a crystalline alpha-alumina phase is to use a combination of pulse sputtering control and optical emission spectroscopy with augmented heating capability.
11:50 AM G7-1-11 Hard Coating Characterisation with the Revetest (RVT) Xpress Scratch Tester
N.X. Randall, G. Favaro, A.O. Sergici (CSM Instruments, Switzerland)

The Revetest Scratch Tester is the ideal tool for characterizing the mechanical properties of PVD and CVD coatings. For more than 25 years, CSM Instruments has been developing the Revetest to measure the adhesion and scratch resistance of coatings. With our extensive experience gained over the years, we have developed the Revetest Xpress specifically for industrial Quality Control. The Xpress concept is a simple and robust instrument which is very easy to use by untrained technicians as well as more experienced personnel within the coatings company. The instrument naturally conforms to the latest industrial standards (ISO/EN 1071, ASTM G171, JIS 3255, etc.).

The scratch test consists of scratching a surface with an indenter or a ball to characterize the critical loads at which failure occurs. Depending on the instrument options, it has the possibility to simultaneously detect the acoustic emission, the friction force and the penetration and/or to analyze through a microscope the type of critical failure mode encountered. The scratch analysis allows the user to determine and investigate the phenomena encountered along the length of the scratch, e.g., cracking, deformation, spallation, buckling, etc.

This paper concentrates on characterisation of hard coatings using the Revetest scratch adhesion test. The three coatings chosen consist of TiN, TiCN and ZrCN, all of which are deposited by CVD and find use as cutting tool overcoats for minimising wear. At the end of the paper, some complete scratches for different materials are given. The new advances of the scratch testing technology will be presented at the conference, such as multi-cycle scratching, pre- and post-scan modes and incremental load scratching.

Time Period WeM Sessions | Abstract Timeline | Topic G Sessions | Time Periods | Topics | ICMCTF2006 Schedule