A new hard metal coating with low thermal expansion is claimed to extend the lifespan of composite tooling. Nanovar from Integran Technologies Inc., Toronto, is a ductile surface coating that is nano-structured, meaning the metal grains are 1000 times smaller than in conventional metals, resulting in hardness similar to tool steel. Tooling made from carbonfi ber composites is used extensively in pre-production manufacturing but has found limited production use because of lack of surface durability, according to Integran. Hard-metal surface coatings have been attempted previously but have tended to be porous, brittle, and nonuniform in thickness, the company claims. In contrast to other coatings that rely on brittle metal oxides to achieve hardness, Integran's nano-structuring process results in a ductile material, which enhances tool robustness. Validation testing is underway with aerospace customers and commercialization is expected later this year. Tel: (416) 675-6266 . www.integran.com
Integran Technologies, Inc.
1 Meridian Rd. Toronto M9W 4Z6, Ontario, Canada
Phone (416) 675-6266 Fax (416) 675-1666