When first introduced in the late 1970s, cutting tool coatings, especially titanium nitride (TiN), were embraced by tool manufacturers for their ability to extend tool life. As workforce materials have expanded from conventional ferrous and nonferrous metals to exotic alloys, composites, ceramics, and others, coatings have likewise progressed and, thanks to new formulations and deposition methods, are extending cutting tool capabilities as well as tool life. The improvements in today’s coatings are considered to have been made possible by advances in nanotechnology and the ability to incorporate micro-thin layers of various separate coatings.
Reportedly, a growing number of cutting tool manufacturers are purchasing proprietary coating equipment and developing partnerships with the makers of their units, who, in turn, supply both coating materials and applications assistance.
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