Bavarian research cooperation ForLayer develops worldwide hardest Nano diamond foil
Source: Kompetenznetze Deutschland
Research work about innovative coating possibilities leads to three patent applications
20-times harder than hardened steel, twice as firm as common ceramic foils, thermally insulating and furthermore applicable where diamond coating was not possible until now: The patented multilayer Nano crystal diamond foil by the Bavarian research cooperation ForLayer prepares to revolutionize tool engineering. The foil was developed at University Erlangen-Nürnberg and is one of several results that have been presented by the scientists in January.
The research cooperation researched on wear reduction of tools with multiple loads for about three years.
Synthetic crystal diamond is an established protective coating on cutting tools such as drills or mills. So far it has mainly been used on high-strength materials to reduce wear. Materials like steel, aluminum or plastic do not allow a common diamond coating, because they get damaged by the high temperatures in the coating process. To make diamond coating applicable to those materials and to protect specific stressed parts of the tools has been one of the ForLayer’s goals. The scientists’ solution was to separate the diamond generation from the applying process: Diamond can be bred on copper or silicon templates with high temperatures and then be removed as a self-supporting foil. This foil can then be applied to any material using moderate temperatures. The involved industrial partners proved the potential of the new development, which protects the tools 100 percent from wear.
Further possibilities to optimize the wear protection of tools have been developed within five additional projects. Professor Martin Faulstich, scientific head of ATZ Entwicklungszentrum and the cooperation’s speaker was especially happy about the transferability of the results to the industrial reality: “Tool technology takes up about 20 percent of the production costs. Therefor the potential to save costs with better wear protection is correspondingly high.” A team at LMU Munich for example was able to develop a worldwide unique procedure to optimize oxide ceramic layers with a solvothermal treatment. This method, which has also been applied for patent, was combined with a special coating procedure, the so called Spray Metal Tooling, which allows the manufacturing of complexly formed tools with a wear resistant and thermal and chemical enduring surface.
The technique of a multi material applying system that was developed at ForLayer was patented by a research group from TU Munich. This system realizes a simultaneous processing of conventional and highly wear resistant materials while directly manufacturing tools in layers. Furthermore ForLayer was able to find new solutions for aluminum casting, press hardening and cold massive forming. The industry took a key role for the research work: The companies, from small businesses to large enterprises, were looking for clever solutions for concrete problems that occur during the manufacturing processes.
Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Wolf