|Self-supporting, flexible diamond film|
Injection molds are frequently subject to severe wear, as various conditions that promote wear occur at the same time. These include, for instance, high temperatures, rapid temperature change, an aggressive environment and local or brief yet radically different mechanical-tribological conditions.
Because of their mechanical properties and chemical stability, diamond layers provide very good protection against wear. For example, synthetic crystalline diamond is used on metal-machining tools (e. g. drill bits and mills) as a protective layer to reduce wear. Materials such as steel, aluminum and plastic, however, do not permit conventional diamond coating, since their properties degrade at the high temperatures of over 800°C required for the coating process. The ForLayer research group has now succeeded in making diamond coatings available for these materials as well. Moreover, it is now also possible to provide local protection for regions subject to severe wear.
The researchers separated creation of the diamond layer from its application to the tool’s surface. In the first step, self-supporting diamond films with a thickness of up to 100 µm are produced. These films can then be applied to the substrate at moderate temperatures. Tests conducted on components of injection molds and aluminum diecasting tools confirm such films provide highly effective protection against wear. Since tooling accounts for a relatively high percentage of production costs, such wear-reducing measures hold the potential for significant savings in manufacturing.
An der Maxhütte 1
Tel.: +49 (0) 9661 908-0
Dr.-Ing. Harald Sambale