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Deposition of various metal, ceramic, and cermet coatings by an industrial-scale large area filtered arc deposition process

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4 Author(s)
Gorokhovsky, V. ; Arcomac Surface Engineering, LLC, Bozeman, Montana 59715 ; Bowman, C. ; VanVorous, D. ; Wallace, J.

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Nearly defect-free nitride, carbide, and oxiceramic coatings have been deposited by a unidirectional dual large area filtered arc deposition (LAFAD) process. One LAFAD dual arc vapor plasma source was used in both gas ionization and coating deposition modes with and without vertical magnetic rastering of the plasma flow. Substrates made of different metal alloys, as well as carbide and ceramics, were installed at different vertical positions on the 0.5 m diameter turntable of the industrial-scale batch coating system which was rotated at 12 rpm to assess deposition rates and coating thickness uniformity. Targets of the same or different compositions were installed on the primary cathodic arc sources of the LAFAD plasma source to deposit a variety of coating compositions by mixing the metal vapor and reactive gaseous components in a magnetically confined, strongly ionized plasma flow with large kinetic energy. The maximum deposition rate typically ranged from 1.5 μm/h for TiCr/TiCrN to 2.5 μm/h for Ti/TiN multilayer and AlN single layer coatings, and up to 6 μm/h for AlCr-based oxiceramic coatings for primary cathode current ranging from 120 to 140 A. When the arc current was increased to 200 A, the deposition rates of TiN-based coatings were as high as 5 μm/h. The vertical coating thickness uniformity was ±15% inside of a 150 mm area without vertical rastering. Vertical rastering increased the uniform coating deposition area up to 250 mm. The coating thickness distribution was well correlated with the output ion current distribution as measured by a multisection ion collector probe. Coatings were characterized for thickness, surface profile, adhesion, hardness, and elemental composition. Es- timates of electrical resistivity indicated good dielectric properties for most of the TiCrAlY-based oxiceramic, oxinitride, and nitride coatings. The multielement LAFAD plasma flow consisting of fully ionized metal vapor with a reactive gas ionization rate in excess of 50% was found especially suitable for deposition of nanocomposite, nanostructured coatings. Potential industrial applications of this highly productive coating deposition process are discussed.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 4 )