K-Coat (proprietary) 

The proprietary K-Coating is a silver-colored, multi layer, multi phase coating, developed at Ion Vacuum Technologies Corporation. 

The original design was developed for co-machining steels and cast iron with aluminum, but during its deployment throughout the years, its application has broadened, and it has proven itself in cutting and forming both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. K-Coated tools achieved exceptionally good results in threading, tapping, drilling, and grooving of hard-to-machine, gummy materials, such as 316L cold rolled stainless steel, Inconel 600 and 718, and other high temperature alloys, and hyper-eutectic silicon alloys. 

Several companies specify our K-Coating as the PVD coating of choice for tapping NPT threads into cold rolled austenitic stainless steels and high temperature alloys, and highly abrasive materials (316L, Inconels, Hastalloy, Monel, cast iron, hyper eutectic automotive aluminum alloys, metal matrix composites, and the like).  Additionally, K-Coating has proven superior in die-work, outperforming other PVD coatings on the market.

A six-month deep hole drilling study in cast hyper eutectic Al-Si alloys demonstrated a tenfold life increase for K-Coated drills compared to Titanium Nitride coated drills, while still retaining the original surface finish. 

When specified in woodworking applications we have had rave results, as K-Coating is hard enough to endure the abrasive wear but tough enough to withstand inclusions that would otherwise damage the coating. 

The superior performance of the K-Coating stems from its compositionally modulated layered structure and chemistry.  The modulation enables the deposition of graded, broad interfaces between individual layers, and produces a modulated grain structure with different average grain sizes as a function of depth/layer location.  In laymen’s terms, K-Coating is superior because it is both hard and tough. 

It is as abrasion resistant and as hard as Titanium Carbo-Nitride (TiCN), but without the inherent brittleness of TiCN.  Also, because of its mixed chemistry, it is expected to have a higher oxidation resistance than TiCN.

Our K-Coating and TiCN are the same color because they are given the same finish.  While we offer TiCN, we recommend that any customer interested in TiCN substitute K-Coating for it, as the performance will very likely be higher.