Coatings for Cutting Tools: How It Works

Cutting tools can have their precision and their longevity enhanced with the appropriate coatings. Coatings can be used to significantly improve the surface of a tool, which in turn means that the tool will be able to last longer and be able to perform better. But the type of improvement also depends on the type of coating.

Applying Coatings to Tools

When a tool has been manufactured or reground, coatings can be applied directly to its surface. Depending on the type of coating, there are different methods. The coating may be sprayed on, or the tool may be placed in a special chamber saturated with the coating. Regardless, the goal is to create a thin coating that completely covers the usable surface of the tool.

Different Coatings for Cutting Tools

There are different types of coatings used for cutting tools, depending on its needs. These include:

  • Abrasion resistance. This type of coating reduces the wear on the tool, directly causing it to perform better for longer.
  • Material resistance. This type of coating is a non-stick coating that reduces the chances of build up on edges, improving precision and reducing damage.
  • Thermal resistance. This type of coating is intended to protect tools in very hot environments.

Different materials may be able to give different levels of all of these resistances; for instance, one type of coating may be able to provide both abrasion and thermal resistance, while another may be better at material resistance.

The Benefits of Coated Tools

Coated tools last longer, which means that their overall cost is far less. Studies have shown that coated tools do reduce the cost of replacing tools, especially as they are less likely to break down in operation. Choosing the right coating will decrease cycle time and increase overall life, whether the coating is applied during the initial manufacturing, during a regrinding, or both.

That being said, there are multiple types of coating and companies may need professional advice regarding the coating that is right for their tools, especially if they are attempting to coat custom tools. Hardness, wear resistance, surface lubricity, and oxidation temperature all need to be considered when choosing a new coating for a tool.

Custom Tool & Grinding provides a wide array of regrinding and tool coating surfaces, for companies with standard and custom tools. If you need your tools coated, contact CT&G today for more information about their processes and their capabilities.