The Application and Characteristics of DLC Coatings

Diamond like carbon is a popular deposition method used a variety of today’s industries.

Denton Vacuum Integrity(R) system configured for IR filter development. (PRNewsFoto/Denton Vacuum LLC)

DLC, or diamond like carbon, coating is a type of coating that’s comprised of nanocomposites and unique properties of natural diamonds with characteristics such as low friction, high hardness, and high corrosion resistance. These coatings also tend to have different structure as well as properties that rely on both diamonds and carbon (or fillers like silicon and hydrogen) within the layer.

Common DLC Applications

DLC coatings are often applied in automotive engines in order to reduce the amount of friction from all the engine components running in conjunction with each other. Additionally, the black color of the coating also makes it perfect for decorative purposes like on watches or on tools – which are actually common applications. DLC coatings are advantageous because of the low coefficient of friction and non-sticking properties included. Much of the time, these DLC coatings are produced with a variety of different technologies like physical vapor deposition, or PVD.

Vacuum System

A majority of the time, there are specialized vacuum coating systems that are used to produce these coatings. Because the characteristics must all be retained during the process, it’s vital that the equipment meets industry standards and can perform at a high level.

Common Characteristics

Some of the common characteristics of DLC coatings include: high hardness, high corrosion resistance, fretting resistance, self lubrication, excellent release properties, electrical insulation, and more. All of these characteristics make DLC coatings perfect for the machining of cast and wrought aluminum as well as plastic injection moulds.

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