Diamond-like carbon coating

Production process optimization — is key to the successful development of a modern company. Reduction of production costs is an issue of particular importance for the Russian machine building industry, which finds itself in especially difficult times in competition with foreign manufacturers. Innovation technologies provide an opportunity to significantly increase the life time of equipment and tools, and provide them with the desired properties for specific tasks. Various types of durable hardening coatings are being developed most intensively, with each type being designed for its specific application.

Among these applications is the diamond-like carbon coating (DLC), which is successfully used for machine building purposes, as well as for metal processing and other industrial purposes, where it is required to increase the strength/hardness of tools and machinery, and reduce friction in moving parts.

Hardening coatings, like many other important inventions, have imperceptibly become an essential part of our daily life. The first step towards mass introduction was a videotape-recorder head by Samsung Electronics, known in Russia as Diamond Head technology.

Since that time the application of hardening DLC coating has significantly expanded. Suffice it to say that this coating is used in the production of the MACH3 razor blade from GILLETTE, ensuring they slide so easily upon the skin. Piston rings for automobile engines manufactured by Japanese corporation Teikoku Piston Rings, because of the diamond-like films deposited on them, demonstrate better sliding and minimum wear in contact with modern alloys. These rings are especially important for such applications as high-speed and booster power engines. There is no surprise today in DLC-coated tools being used in precision machine building technologies, metal processing, and other high-tech industries. The service life of such coated products has increased five- to twentyfold (depending on the material being processed). There are hundreds of such items included in the product catalogs of leading tool manufacturers.

In spite of the evident leadership in this field during the Soviet era due to research performed by scientists from the Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and Belgorod University, and although in 2011 the national standard "Diamond-Based Nanocoatings for Cutting Tools" was introduced, almost the only company in Russia producing DLC coatings using a deposition technique on an industrial scale using the technology of vacuum pulse sputtering of graphite, is the company Special Technologies LLC.

DLC coatings (ta-C) have a unique set of characteristics.

  • Strong adhesion of the deposited films to the surface;
  • Hardness of the coating comparable to diamond hardness;
  • Durability;
  • Low coefficient of friction;
  • Chemical stability;
  • Ecological cleanliness;
  • Biological compatibility;
  • Transparency in the infra-red band of the spectrum;
  • High heat conductivity;
  • Corrosion resistance;
  • High electrical resistance;