Acree Technologies Inc.

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PVD Coating for Tools, Dies, & Hardware

The variety of uses for PVD coatings in tooling and manufacturing is almost limitless. In manufacturing, efficiency is the key to both survival and prosperity. PVD coatings deliver efficiency to manufacturers and in numerous industries, such as Punching & Forming, Mold & Die Casting, and Cutting. Across all markets, PVD coatings have saved companies billions of dollars, by increasing tool life and productivity.

One of the best coating families for tooling and manufacturing is Diamond-like-carbon (DLC). DLC Coatings are extremely effective in many tribological and wear applications due to their combination of high micro-hardness with a low coefficient of friction. Depending on the characteristics of the tools and/or application involved, there are numerous DLC coating structures to choose from. Acree’s scientists will help you choose the best DLC coating to maximize the selected mechanical and physical properties for the job.

The most significant inherent problem with DLC coatings has been issues of adhesion. DLC films are very hard, but subject to compressive stress, which can lead to delamination.

Fortunately, these issues can be alleviated with material science and technology. High Impulse Power Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) deposition technology can mitigate the limitations of DLC. HIPIMS primes the substrate surface prior to coating through shallow metal ion implantation and increased interface strength. HIPIMS deposition creates coatings that are very smooth, dense, and highly adhesives.

DLC coatings have repeatedly proven themselves in practical applications. Acree is very familiar with DLC coatings and has had exceptional success in overcoming the issues associated with them.


Acree deposits hard coatings that excel in metal forming applications such as Punches, Dies, and Fine blanking. These coatings significantly extend the useful life of tools by protecting them from abrasive and adhesive wear. This protection boosts profitability by reducing manufacturing costs:

• Less down time and higher productivity

• Reduced (often eliminated) need for cleaning and costly lubricants

• Improved consistency and tighter tolerances in the final product



A PVD coating will resist corrosion and wear of die mold parts while also lowering the coefficient of friction. This improves your bottom line:

• Increases fluidity of forming material and improves forming performance.

• Easier release/demolding

• Fewer residues and therefore less polishing

• Parts have a longer working life


Tools that are used for the production of plastic parts are often suffer extreme abrasive and adhesive wear. Also build-up of plastic particle deposits can lead to unacceptable residues on the products and to manufacturing defects. A PVD coated tool will far outperform an uncoated tool, and deliver the following benefits:

• Extended life of molds

• Reduced downtime

• Shorter cycle times/increased productivity

• Improved injection pressure, melt flow and mold filling, which reduces sink marks and other surface flaws

• Reduced “sticking,” eliminating the need for release agents

• Dry operation, eliminating the need for costly lubricants

• Easier to clean molds

• Chemical inertness and hardness

• Prevention of catalytic reactions

• Improved adherence to prescribed dimensions of tools


Hard, Sharp, and Durable- Cutting edges require hardness and/or sharpness, and they need to last. PVD coatings add these characteristics to all types of cutting tools. Their proven performance has made PVD coating standard for all solid carbide cutting tools. You will find PVD coated tools in every industryWhether it’s Drills, End Mills, Razor Blades, Carbide Inserts, etc.,

PVD tools are superior to other tools in:

• Hardness- coated tools can cut extremely hard materials

• Speed- cutting tools can work at higher speeds, reducing cycle times and increasing production

• Heat- High speed and dry cutting create intense temperatures on cutting surfaces. PVD coated tools exhibit thermal stability and resistance to oxidation, so they reduce the need for costly cutting fluids and coolants

• Resistance- to all types of wear (abrasive, cratering, edge build-up, and notching)

• Reuse- Re-sharpening and recoating a PVD coated tool will make it cut like new. This is far cheaper than buying a new tool

Which PVD coating is right for you application? It really depends on the tool material and the application. Titanium Nitride (TiN) was the first commercially available PVD coating, and is still used today. However, many other coatings have been developed, such as:

Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAlN)
Aluminum Titanium Nitride (AlTiN)
Titanium Carbon Nitride (TiCN)
Zirconium Nitride (ZrN)

Each of these coatings performs differently depending on the substrate.

The bottom line is that PVD coated tools will improve your bottom line.


Telephone: 925-798-5770