Monoblock (MB) consists of a single layer of nitride. This single layer can be applied on an adhesion layer (e.g. TiN+AlTiN-MB). If the adhesion layer and monoblock do not differ, the coating process does not switch between different target materials.
Gradient structure (G) occurs if the composition in the coating continuously changes. 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. 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 a 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) are 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 comparison with sand on a beach can serve to illustrate the increase in hardness achieved by the nanocomposite structure: normally, a person’s foot will sink into dry sand. If the sand is wet, their foot will 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 with the Pi411 coating unit.
QuadCoatings4 from PLATIT receive a fourth block for special purposes in addition to the triple structure. These coatings consist of an adhesion layer, a first core layer of the gradient type, a second core layer of the multilayer type and a nanocomposite top layer.
A typical example is TiXCo4.