The development of super-smooth ultra-dense hard coatings was the goal of the development of the high performance coating system xPro4R. Based on the most advanced and meanwhile widely used HiPIMS V+ technology from N4E* and the use of rotatable magnetron sputtering cathodes (Rotatables) from GENCOA** the xPro4R coating system was designed for the deposition of high performance hard coatings such as AlTiN, AlCrN, AlTiCrSiN and many others.
The HiPIMS V+ (HiPIMS + positive pulsing) technology, currently considered as the most advanced HiPIMS – technology, allows the precise control of the amount and energy of the ions, bombarding the substrate. This is the most important mechanism to deposit coatings which show the optimum concerning crystallinity, density, smoothness and internal stresses for their applications. Furthermore HiPIMS V+ shows much higher deposition rates compared to conventional HiPIMS processes.
The use of Rotatables supports higher deposition rates for improved economics, reduces the target poisoning and shows the longest lifetime of the target material without target changes at extreme target utilization. One of the most important advantages of Rotatables is the constant sputter conditions during the lifetime of the target compared to planar targets which require constant adjustments of the deposition conditions due to the erosion groove.
Furthermore Rotatables can be used at significantly higher energy levels compared to planar magnetrons, thus positively influencing the economics of the process.
PVT combined HiPIMS V+ and Rotatables in the newly developed xPro4R coating system. With a plasma volume of 520 mm diameter and a height of 800 mm an economic environment is created to deposit super-smooth ultra-dense high performance coatings onto a variety of cutting and forming tools, dies and molds, parts and consumer goods.
PVT started the marketing of the xPro4R (technical data sheet) giving different presentations during and exhibiting at international and national exhibitions and conferences, such as at the SVC – TECHCON 2019 in Los Angeles, the ICMCTF 2019 in San Diego, the HiPIMS – Konferenz in Braunschweig and the SAVTI Meeting in Shenzhen.
* N4E Nano4Energy, Madrid, Spain
** GENCOA, Liverpool, Great Britain