Proprietary TiSiN surface treatment coatings offer assistance in hardening metal surfaces and enhancing wear, corrosion, and temperature resistance. This still experimental technology potentially holds significant military and aerospace applications. We assist our clients in seeking to develop innovative commercial products suitable for TiSiN surface treatment applications.
The use of a surface treatment frequently enables a metal parts manufacturer to modify the exterior of a workpiece to obtain desired surface properties. For example, a company might utilize nitriding to harden a tool blade to enhance wear and provide better resistance against corrosion. Likewise, coating a metal part with paint may help protect the surface by retarding the development of rust.
The use of titanium silicon nitride, or “TiSiN”, has received growing academic and research attention during recent years as a new, innovative proprietary surface treatment. Currently, product developers in several countries work to devise commercially viable TiSiN production processes.
The use of silicon nitriding as a surface treatment assists manufacturers in creating harder, more durable ceramic coated products.
It consists of a compound formed between the elements silicon, which is used widely in computer chip manufacturing, and nitrogen. Some forms of this compound have greater stability than others. The successful combination of silicon and nitride produces a coating which offers enhanced heat resistance when applied to metal surfaces. Manufacturers have developed several proprietary technologies for creating and applying silicon nitriding commercially as a surface treatment.
While many potential uses for silicon nitriding surface treatments have existed since its initial patenting between 1948 and 1952, at first the technology proved cost-ineffective for most purposes. Recently, the cost of silicon nitriding treatments has reportedly fallen. This change has allowed more manufacturers to begin utilizing this process to enhance their products by increasing the resistance of metal surfaces to heat.
Today some manufacturers utilize titanium nitride (“TiN”) coatings to help strengthen and sharpen cutting surfaces on consumer goods, such as knife blades. The technology also enjoys numerous commercial uses in merchandise such as industrial punches. A thin coating layer of TiN produces a pleasing golden appearance, making it widely popular in some decorative applications today. For instance, it appears in jewelry, consumer goods, and automotive decals. TiN adheres well to several frequently commercially used metals, including aluminum and steel.
Titanium added to a silicon nitriding coating using robust proprietary technologies as TiSiN increases the hardness of metal surfaces even further, effectively combining advantages supplied by silicon nitriding and TiN.
This new surface treatment confers significant heat resistance. The technology offers benefits in technologies employed in military applications and in the aerospace industry, for example. If the price of TiSiN drops in the future, this innovative surface treatment may indeed become widespread in more industries which require extremely hard, wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant surfaces on some metal parts.
At the present time, applications for this proprietary technology remain limited by two factors: cost and proprietary production techniques. We advise companies seeking optimal surface treatments for metal components. While current marketplace application for TiSiN is somewhat limited at this time, in the future our customers will benefit from this innovative surface treatment as it gains increasing commercial use.
There are published patents describing laboratory methods for achieving TiSiN coating, but the limited available online information suggests this technology still remains largely proprietary. Innovations in developing TiSiN coatings and coating methods have occurred during recent years.
Currently, research directed towards developing TiSiN surface treatments occurs primarily in laboratories and academic institutions. The technology has not obtained widespread use in consumer or industrial manufacturing. The high costs of production limits successful commercial uses of this type of surface treatment on a mass production scale.
Additionally, the specific patented process used by a given manufacturer for creating a TiSiN exterior surface coating on metal parts may depend upon the requirements and intended use for specific components within a given product or mechanical assembly. Consequently, broad generalizations about the details of the coating process prove misleading. Since several nations have granted patents for TiSiN coating processes, it appears research in this exciting field remains ongoing.
Manufacturers at the present time sometimes deposit TiSiN coatings in exceedingly thin (micromillimeter) layers through a process called physical vapor deposition (or “PVD”). The use of cathodic arc methods to achieve PVD permits the application of some types of thin ceramic, composite, and metallic film layers on metal surfaces. As electricity passes between two electrodes, the discharge vaporizes minute levels of titanium, allowing this mineral to bond with silicon and nitrogen on the exterior of a substrate. This arc technique requires laboratory conditions and the use of precision monitoring equipment.
Applications for titanium silicon nitride coatings appear centered mainly in the defense and aerospace industries. Many potential applications would exist for an industrial coating capable of offering both increased hardness and increased heat and corrosion resistance properties. Conceivably applications would occur within the automotive, energy production, mineral extraction, medical, and consumer goods sectors, for example. For example, manufacturers have succeeded in creating drilling bits for commercial use which employ very thin TiSiN films. This process holds potential for improving the durability and corrosion and heat resistance of mining equipment.
The use of TiSiN offers a number of important benefits in certain situations. First, this material enhances surface hardness even when deposited in exceedingly thin film layers. This consideration means it may assist the development of lightweight products for the aerospace and transportation industries. Second, these treatments improve the ability of some metal surfaces to withstand heavy wear and heat, potentially making parts more durable within mechanical assemblies subjected to harsh environmental conditions.
For further information about our TiSiN capabilities, contact us via the convenient website form or submit a request for quote directly. We welcome your inquiries.
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