Coatings, Vol. 9, Pages 7: Corrosion Behavior and Surface Properties of PVD Coatings for Mold Technology Applications

Research paper by Luigi D'Avico, Ruben Beltrami, Nora Lecis, Stefano P. Trasatti

Indexed on: 23 Dec '18Published on: 22 Dec '18Published in: Coatings


Chrome plating is still one of the best solutions to coat martensitic steel used in the molding of plastics and rubbers. However, current stringent regulations on environmental impact call for more sustainable processes. In the present work, some physical vapor deposition (PVD) nitride coatings were produced on X155CrMoV12 steel and characterized in terms of both corrosion behavior and surface properties. Results indicated that titanium-based PVD coatings could be a valuable alternative to chromium-based coatings as they exhibited a good compromise between corrosion and surface properties. AlTiN and TiN PVD coatings exhibited adequate hardness for plastic mold applications, with AlTiN reaching hardness as high as 2000 HV. Moreover, the critical loads and adhesion properties were found to be definitely better than those of chromium-based coatings. From a corrosion point of view, the presence of multilayers in AlTiN did not seem to be beneficial as the breakdown potential for TiN (single layer) was ca. 1.1 V vs. saturated calomel electrode (SCE) compared to 0.85 V vs. SCE for AlTiN in aggressive media (NaCl).