Monoblock (MB) means that either the adhesion layer is already the entire coating (e.g. TiN), or a single layer of nitride is applied after the adhesion layer (e.g. TiN+AlTiN-MB).
If the adhesion layer is already the entire coating, all targets are the same and run during the whole deposition process. Thus, this coating is the fastest and most economical to create.
With the gradient structure (G) the composition in the coating is continuously changed. The coating consists of an adhesion and a core layer. A typical G-coating is TiAlN/AlTiN-G.
Multilayer (ML) also consists of an adhesion and a core layer. After the adhesion layer, several (multiple) layers are deposited in succession.
These multiple layers create a “sandwich” structure that absorbs the cracks in the sublayers.
The coating is tougher, but not as hard as a monoblock. The thickness of a single layer in ML is typically 50 - 100 nm, as for example in AlCrN-ML.
Nanolayer (NL) is a finer version of a multilayer with a layer thickness of < 20 nm.
The coating hardness depends on the coating thickness period. To increase the hardness, a period of approx. 10 nm should be set.
All PLATIT coatings with metallic targets have the NL structure.
Nanocomposites (NC) consist of an adhesion and a core layer. The core layer consists of 2 phases: hard, nanocrystalline grains (e.g. TiN, TiAlN or AlCrN grains) become embedded in an amorphous SiN matrix, which prevents the grain from growing and creates the nanocomposite structure. Column growth is prevented, and a fine crystalline / amorphous structure is formed.
One example is nACo.
A beach comparison illustrates the increase in hardness through the nanocomposite structure: normally, the foot sinks into the dry sand. If the sand is wet, the foot does not sink in as far, because the space between the grains is filled with water.
The surface has a higher resistance and is therefore harder.
TripleCoatings3 from PLATIT consist of an adhesion layer, a core layer (MB or G) and a nanocomposite top layer.
A typical coating is nACo, available on the Pi411 coating unit.
In addition to the triple structure, QuadCoatings4 from PLATIT receive a fourth block for special purposes.
These coatings consist of an adhesion layer, a first gradient core layer, a second multilayer core layer and a nanocomposite top layer.
A typical example is TiXCo4.