Arc evaporation is widely used to deposit hard, wear resistant and erosion resistant coatings onto cutting tools, forming tools, dies & molds and wear parts.
Depending on the size of the arc evaporation source and other parameters currents between 60 and 200 A in constant dc–mode are commonly used to evaporate such target materials as Ti, AlTi, Cr and many others.
Traditionally the arc is magnetically confined to control the motion on the targets to avoid the random migration and thus un-uniform distribution of the coating throughout the vacuum chamber.
In a development program over the last 2 ½ years PVT developed the HiParc*-technology (High power Pulsed arc) where in combination with the PDA**-technology(Plasma Diffused Arc) the arcs are run at significantly higher power while pulsing the current at specific frequencies and pulse durations.
Both technologies in combination lead to a significantly better control of the arcs, particularly considering the different evaporation behavior of complex target materials such as TiSi or AlTiSi or AlCrSi or AlCrTiSi, which are used today in high performance coatings.
The most significant advantages of the HiParc* technology are
significantly shorter cycle times
improved target utilization
smoother coating topographies.
PVT is able to reduce the deposition time for the most advanced high performance coatings by more than 50 %, giving the customer an 85 % higher coating system utilization by HiParc*.
HiParc* and PDA** technolog in combination improved at the same time the target utilization to close to 70% depending on the material composition.
In the meantime PVT has commercialized the HiParc*-technology. Several coating systems were successfully delivered to customers using this technology in-house for their own products as well as customers providing coating service.
* HiParc = High Power Pulsed Arc
** PDA = Plasma Diffused Arc