Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coating were first used on tooling to improve wear resistance in the late 1960’s. Titanium nitride (TiN) was the first commercial PVD industrial coating that is still in use for various applications. From the initial TiN followed the alloying of the layer with Al, Cr, C or combinations thereof, resulting in TiCN, TiAlN, TiAlCN, CrN, AlCrN. The technology of PVD can also deposit other layers such as as Carbon or Carbon:Metal doped alloys – which is the new generation of Diamond-Like Carbon coatings. PVD is used in many industrial from wear resistant applications to decorative coatings. We focus more on the PVD coatings for industrial use, i.e. wear resistant, low friction high release coatings. 

Please discuss with us your particular application to ensure parts are prepared correctly to extract the maximum performance from the coating.  

The PVD coatings we offer are:

  1. TiN – Titanium Nitride
  2. TiCN – Titanium Carbo-Nitride
  3. TiAlN (NANO) – Titanium Aluminium Nitride
  4. CrN – Chromium Nitride
  5. AlCrN – Aluminium Chromium Nitride (a.k.a. Alcrona)


The original yellow/gold coating that provided good wear resistance in many applications, from cutting tools, to punches to injection moulding components to forming tools. Due to it’s lower oxidation temperature, it it not used where high heat is generated . The TiN is a low cost, good performance option. It is not to be used when working copper.


With the added carbon, the friction is significantly reduced and the hardness increased. TiCN is a thin, tough, hard, low friction coating. It is often used on punches and forming tools and on injection moulding tools when moulding abrasive materials. In metalworking applications, it is compatible with a variety of metals inlcuding stainless steel and aluminium. When TiCN is used without lubrication, movement should be relative low to avoid high local temperatures.   


The TiAlN coating is contains Aluminium to improve its properties when cutting, but it also significantly increases the hardness while still providing low friction, and it has good toughness. It does well on injection moulding parts when abrasives are present, metalworking tooling and punches. It can be used in applications where there is little to no lubrication.


The extra carbon lowers the friction coefficient and TiAlCN coating is thus a good all rounder providing high temperature resistance, wear resistance, high hardness and low friction. It is mostly used metalworking tooling.  


These coating can be applied thicker as it is a tough coating. CrN also has good non-stick properties and can be used for example on pill punches. CrN can be used on a variety of metals but it is particularly suitable when forming copper.  


For high stresses and high surface temperatures such as that found in fine blanking. A very hard, durable coating specifically for little to no lubrication and then high surface temperatures are present. 

Duplex PVD Coatings  

Here, a special pre-nitriding process is applied to improve the underlying steel’s yield strength and thus Duplex PVD (nitriding + TiN, TiCN, TiAlN, etc) is normally used when a base material might not provide sufficient support for the coating. 


PVD Coating Properties

Microhardness HV0.05 2300±300 3500±500 3500±500 2000±200 3200±300
Friction Coefficient
Against Steel (Dry)
0.6 0.2 0.7 0.3 – 0.4 0.45
Thermal Threshold 500°C 400°C 800°C 600°C 1100°C
Colour gold silver-bronze anthracite silver-gray slate-gray
Key Characteristics standard,
high hardness,
excellent abrasive
wear resistance,
high hardness,
very good
low stress / good
adhesion, high
toughness and
extreme hot
hardness, high
resistance and
high adhesive
Key Applications Cutting
Cutting Forming
Forming Cutting
Primary Applications »metal forming

»plastic moulding

forming tooling»punching

»injection moulding inserts

»coating for a wide
range of carbide,
cermet and high
speed steel tooling
»high speed
operations, semi-dry
or dry
»metal forming
»plastic moulding

* – data from voestalpine eifeler coatings