During finishing, manufacturers frequently apply one or more industrial coatings to metal parts in order to produce desired functional or aesthetic changes. This type of surface treatment sometimes performs a purely decorative role. In many cases, a surface coating also modifies various properties of the part.
For example, a coating may change the color, enhance electrical conductivity, increase corrosion resistance, or affect other important surface qualities. The use of diamond like carbon ("DLC") coatings has gained importance in industrial and consumer manufacturing marketplaces during recent years.
About Diamond Like Carbon
Diamond like carbon coatings typically involve the controlled application of carbon atoms to the surface of metal parts. Developed with the assistance of nanotechnology, these coatings do not actually utilize diamonds. This type of surface coating may confer greatly improved wear resistance and hardness. It often significantly prolongs the anticipated useful lifespans of metal parts used for industrial purposes. Today, most manufacturers apply several layers of coatings, adjusting them to meet the requirements of specific applications.
The DLC Coating Process
Today, a number of proprietary DLC coating processes exist within the commercial marketplace. These products fall across a spectrum, with some offering greater degrees of hardness and resistance to abrasion and other furnishing greater ductility, based upon the structure of the carbon atoms. The myriad of proprietary DCL products and technologies has resulted in the development of multiple methods for applying these coatings within industrial settings.
The method for performing DCL coating varies from one proprietary DLC product to another, so making uniform generalizations proves impossible. Some manufacturers apply these coatings using physical vapor deposition technologies. They may preheat a metal work piece within a vacuum chamber and carefully clean away traces of oxides from the surface, preparing the exterior to accept specified underlayer and DLC surface coatings.
An ionized carbonaceous gas serves as the source of carbon molecules in some patented systems. By controlling the time of exposure, the temperature, and other parameters carefully, the manufacturer obtains uniform coatings of specific thicknesses. Facilities which employ DCL coatings usually implement rigorous quality control measures.
A diamond like carbon coating called "DLC 3000" offers both enhanced hardness combined with a reduced coefficient of friction. Available in black, this industrial coating also furnishes attractive aesthetic qualities. For example, it has proved suitable for applications within the consumer goods and high tech marketplaces.
Has your company searched for specific DLC coatings? These new in demand coatings usually fall within the category of proprietary technologies. Bunty LLC assists customers interested in selecting the best industrial coatings and application processes for their product lines and desired product purposes.
DLC COATING: Materials And Applications
The materials utilized by metal parts manufacturers who rely on DLC coatings during finishing vary based upon the specific proprietary coating, its application method, and the intended use. Reportedly, modern mass production facilities coat a variety of metals and metal alloys with DLC coatings during finishing. Frequent raw materials include iron, steel, copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, and silicon.
Metal parts manufacturers have discovered a multitude of uses for DLC coatings in a number of industries. This technology plays particularly important roles in the aerospace, automotive, agricultural, mining, defense, industrial manufacturing, biomedical, and consumer sectors. For example, some DLC coatings apparently won't cause adverse reactions when placed in contact with human skin. This renders this technology potentially suitable for use in a variety of fashion, jewelry, and biomedical applications.
Currently, products as diverse as razor blades and drill bits sometimes utilize DLC coatings. The coatings potentially offer both functional and aesthetic benefits. They have gained widespread popularity within a comparatively brief period of time.
Advantages of DLC Coating
The use of diamond like coatings offers some important advantages for manufacturers of industrial components.
- These coatings in some cases may significantly extend the useful anticipated lifespan of metal parts by greatly increasing wear resistance. Products subjected to a DLC surface treatment may withstand harsh environmental conditions for a longer period of time than competing merchandise lacking this protection.
- By increasing the hardness of some metal surfaces, this type of coating may enhance the functionality of certain specialized industrial components. This innovative surface treatment potentially holds great benefits for the production of specialized products used within hot engine environments, for instance. It may help reduce part failure under some circumstances.
- The use of a DLC coating helps protect product exteriors against scratches and scuffs. This type of surface coating may therefore increase a product's ability to remain attractive to consumers over an extended period of time. It promotes a more appealing, water resistant exterior finish, a quality which makes it attractive to some high tech manufacturers.
- Some manufacturers obtain product weight reduction benefits by employing this new technology. Engineers sometimes seek to enhance the wear resistance and hardness of thin metal parts through the use of DLC coatings. This technology potentially may allow the construction of vehicles including more light weight components, for example.
- Some manufacturers utilize DLC coatings on non-metallic surfaces for specific purposes. These coatings sometimes protect plastic, glass, silicon, and ceramic surfaces, in addition to a wide variety of metal surfaces. Companies which produce components with both metal and non-metal surfaces may find these coatings useful.
- Many proprietary DLC coatings permit manufacturers and end users to remove the coating at a later date. This may hold advantages in situations in which a part requires extensive repair work or welding after manufacturing. Procedures for removal may vary from one proprietary DLC coating to another.