Nano-diamond material specialist Carbodeon, based in Helsinki, Finland, working with metal finishing specialist CCT Plating (Stuttgart, Germany), has developed a new electroless nickel, PTFE (EN-PTFE) and nano-diamond composite coating. By adding nano-diamond particles to the EN-PTFE coating, Carbodeon has been able to improve wear resistance under adhesive and abrasive conditions by as much as 85% without compromising the material’s sliding or release properties. Carbodeon has patented the nano-diamond material and the plating application.
Small, spherical diamond nano-particles are specially treated to make them disperse in coating liquids and carry a positive electrical charge on their surfaces. In the plating process, the diamond particles behave similarly to positively charged metal ions.
In addition to resistance to adhesive and abrasive wear—the material has a Taber Wear Index 30% better than equivalent EN-PTFE coatings—the coatings can be heat treated, bringing the Taber Wear Index down to 14 or lower. Coefficient of friction matches existing EN-PTFE systems—less than 0.2 when measured against steel counterparts. The process contains no hexavalent chromium, making it environmentally friendly and not subject to complex regulations. Low diamond content makes these coatings affordable and easy to apply.
Target applications for the new coating include automotive components, including engine parts, chassis parts and body mechanisms and plastic injection molds with complex structures, moving cores and slides.
Carbodeon CTO Dr. Vesa Myllymaki said: “Customer applications have multiple requirements that are a challenge for existing coatings. Through a combination of these three materials— nickel, nanodiamond and PTFE—we produce coatings that are resistant to the multiple modes of wear and failure that components and systems are subject to, while keeping the low friction and release properties of the EN-PTFE surface.”