Oerlikon Balzers launches new coating

30 August 2019

OERLIKON Balzers has developed a process which allows a diamond-like coating (DLC) to be applied to high-friction components using Scalable Pulsed Power Plasma (S3p); a technique which combines the advantages of the arc evaporation and spluttering methods. This means that treated surfaces can now offer high hardness, low friction and a smooth surface.

This S3p technology generates a high level of tetrahedral bonds, with hardness up to 40 GPa, far higher than the 20-30 GPa offered by a typical DLC coating. As such, the new BALIQ CARBOS coating exhibits three times lower wear in a calo test than a 20 GPa hard DLC coating.

In addition, Oerlikon Balzers’ new coating delivers both the low friction of carbon coatings, with the smoothness usually associated with the splutter process, giving a roughness of Ra= 0.03 µm. Moreover, this smoothness is achieved without the requirement for any additional polishing treatments.

“Although today’s a-C:H coatings can be produced at high volume for low prices, in terms of their design properties they are already reaching their performance limits,” according to Marc H Hervé, Segment Manager Motorsports for international coatings manufacturer, Oerlikon Balzers.

“When a customer seeks higher performance than an a-C:H coating can deliver, the only option to date has been a more expensive and time-consuming hydrogen-free DLC.”

Hydrogen-free coatings, which represent only a small percentage of the DLC category, are made using a physical vapor deposition (PVD) by arc method which produces tetrahedral amorphous carbon or ta-C.  Although this can be used to create a very dense, hard coating with high adhesion, the process produces small droplets that contribute to a rough surface

As a result, coating manufacturers must complete secondary polishing processes to smoothen the surface. Because of its hardness, it is a time-consuming and expensive process.

“Hydrogen-Free DLC coatings are extremely hard and adhere well, but the process can leave a rough surface finish that requires secondary polishing,” explains Hervé.  It can be expensive, because the coating is so hard it takes time and specialized equipment.”



Latest issue

FREE Newsletter

Stay up to date and a chance to win 1 Years Subscription*

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Latest Tweets

Stay up to date with our social world

RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
21 Jun