The importance of atomic arrangement can be understood by one extreme illustration. Both graphite and diamond are made from carbon atoms; but the properties of those two materials are dramatically different because of the way the atoms are arranged. In a somewhat similar way, the Duratomic® coating is more valuable than traditional coatings because of its atomic structure.
What a difference rearranging a few atoms makes! Above, two materials made from carbon.
Controlling the structure of the aluminum oxide coating leads to several benefits for the user. First, we bring a harder and tougher atomic structure into the cut. Just as wood can be easily split with the grain but not against the grain, aluminum oxide is more brittle in some atomic directions than others. We build the coating in a controlled way to make sure the best structure is engaged in the cut.
Secondly, controlling the structure produces a smoother surface, resulting in less friction and heat during the cut. This translates directly to less build-up, a better surface finish, less tool wear, greater tool life and speed capability.
High magnification images: notice on the left, the rough surface on the conventional coating and on the right, flat facets on the surface of the Duratomic coating.
The flat facets on the Duratomic coating prevent built up edge and improve surface finish. These benefits are particularly important in stainless steel machining. The hardness and toughness of the Duratomic coating dramatically reduce insert wear.
Thermal images: notice the higher temperature in the conventional grade on the left and the noticeably lower heat with the Duratomic grade on the right.
Another practical result of the unique Duratomic structure is illustrated in these thermal images. Under identical conditions, an insert coated with the Duratomic process runs cooler compared to an identical insert coated with a conventional aluminum oxide coating. This means less crater wear, less deformation of the cutting edge, and longer tool life.
These inserts are identical except for the coating. The insert on the left has a conventional coating and the insert on the right features a Duratomic coating. Notice the reduced insert wear on the Duratomic coated insert.
The result of these properties is dramatic. Inserts coated using the Duratomic process show less wear, less deformation and much greater tool life.