The use of increasingly hard substances in new products in multiple industries is driving a powerful dependence on the development of higher performance cutting tools that can economically machine these. Among the toughest metals on the planet and used for everything from drill bits to touch screens is Tungsten. Much of the increased demand is coming from China, which only happens to hold the world’s largest reservations. Mineral resources are being hoarded by the state as it makes more of its precision tools using the metal and reducing exports.
Cutting Tool Coatings
As the hardest known substance, diamond has many exceptional physical properties which make it a perfect material for cutting tool coating applications. Diamonds have exceptionally high thermal conductivity which removes damaging heat in the cutting edge and are incredibly abrasion resistant. The second hardest material, cubic boron nitride (CBN), is seen as the best coating alternative. CBN provides excellent thermal stability, high abrasive wear resistance, and also can be used for cutting ferrous alloys. Yet in days gone by it’s always demonstrated a challenge to master CBN coatings. An Arkansas company, NanoMech, has managed to use nanotechnology to create a patented CBN coating called Tufftek that will be synthesized using a proprietary procedure and is anticipated to displace traditional vapor deposition procedures. The coating application has a tough stage and a soft period, both of which join to form a nodular feel which mimics that of a lotus leaf.
TuffTek is a nanocomposite coating that’s applied to carbide inserts and tools enabling these tools to cut more efficiently and last longer than superior cutting tools on the market today. TuffTek coated tools can enhance tool life more or 300% compared to conventional coatings. The blend of exceptional wear resistance and great toughness makes TuffTek coated tools a better tool than any other currently on the market. TuffTek coated cutting tools can reach wear life beyond conventionally coated tools and may even approach the wear life offered by polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PCBN) streamlined tools.
Benefits of TuffTek
Since CBN has proven to be extremely hard to reliably deposit using conventional techniques like physical vapor deposition and chemical vapor deposition. NanoMech’s patented and patent-pending coating procedures distinctively solve the difficulties connected with creating CBN based coatings. Over 100 million gallons of cutting fluid are used annually in the US alone, all of which must be disposed of as waste. This amount can be possibly reduced by Tufftek. The application of Tufftek coating will not need sharpening which not only reduces costs but also removes disposal and the use of chemical substances.
Arkansas based NanoMech was founded in 2002 by the business’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Ajay Malshe based on a coating technology initiated by Dr. Malshe and exclusively licensed from the University of Arkansas. In 2008, Mr. James M. Phillips joined as Chairman, and gathered a Board of Directors including Christopher Galvin, former Chairman and CEO of Motorola. An investment round followed soon afterwards to finance the multiple award winning TuffTek® NanoSpray coatings which deposit ultra-tough particles onto surfaces of cutting tools and are promised to function as world’s most outstanding coatings for such uses. NanoMech has a 9000 sq. ft. production facility and an 8000 sq. ft. R&D facility, both found in Arkansas.
For more information visit www.nanomech.com