Composite Tool Coating

Integran Technologies Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has developed Nanovar, a low-thermal-expansion, hard-metal coating designed to improve the durability and extend the lifespan of composite tooling. Tooling made from carbon composites is used extensively in preproduction but sees limited use in production because

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Integran Technologies Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has developed Nanovar, a low-thermal-expansion, hard-metal coating designed to improve the durability and extend the lifespan of composite tooling. Tooling made from carbon composites is used extensively in preproduction but sees limited use in production because of surface durability issues, says the company, contending that previous hard-metal surface coatings have exhibited poor thickness uniformity and have tended to be porous and brittle. The new coating, however, is a nanostructured material with grains reportedly a thousand times smaller than conventional metals, resulting in hardness comparable to tooling steel. Adhesion is maintained through repeated thermal cycling by closely matching the thermal expansion of coating to the carbon composite substrate.