AlTiN+ Coating: An In-Depth Look

Scientific Cutting Tools offers two finish choices for most products: uncoated or AlTiN+. AlTiN+ coating extends the life of the tool and the range of applications. To ensure that our tools are up to SCT guaranteed standards, AlTiN+ coating is done in-house. What is AlTiN+ comprised of, how is it different than TiAlN, and what are prime applications? This newsletter focuses on AlTiN+ coating in depth. 

What is AlTiN+ coating?  

Aluminum Titanium Nitride (AlTiN+) is the choice proprietary coating of Scientific Cutting Tools. The complex coating is a unique structure with a crystalline matrix that applies evenly. This coating works by forming a thin surface layer of Alumina (Al2O3), or Aluminum Oxide ceramic. It is dense, non-porous and forms a lasting bond with the base submicron carbide, and will not chip or flake off. As the coating wears, it continues to rebuild from the Aluminum in the coating. It has superior nano hardness to many other coating options available today and can withstand up to 1652 degrees Fahrenheit. Selecting an AlTiN+ coated tool can prolong tool longevity up to 12-14 times longer depending on use and application.

Is there a significant difference between AlTiN+ and TiAlN? 

Yes. AlTiN+ (Aluminum Titanium Nitride) has superior properties when compared with TiAlN (Titanium Aluminum Nitride). A TiAlN coated tool may last up to 10x longer than an uncoated tool. When using an AlTiN+ coated tool, it may last up to 12-14x longer than an uncoated tool depending on the application. The maximum temperature for TiAlN is approximately 1450 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas AlTiN+ can withstand up to approximately 1652 Fahrenheit. AlTiN+ has a hardness (Vickers) of 4500 (90 Rc) while TiAlN has a hardness of merely 2800 (85 Rc).  When working with harder materials like steel, stainless steel, and high-temperature alloys, it is beneficial to use an AlTiN+ coated tool for higher cutting speeds and nano hardness.

When should I choose AlTiN+ over an uncoated tool?  

With AlTiN+ coating, the critical cutting edge is given a layer of a high-hardness, wear-resistant material that puts the high heat generated at the cutting edge into the chip instead of the carbide tool. This keeps the cutting edge from breaking down which extends the tool life and also allows for higher speeds and feeds: increasing productivity. It is especially critical when cutting materials such as stainless steels, steels, high-temperature alloys, and ductile cast iron as an uncoated tool may likely produce undesired results due to heat generated at the cutting edge. These materials generate higher cutting temperatures due to their material makeup resulting in a breakdown of the carbide substrate in an uncoated tool. Investing in an AlTiN+ coated tool will prevent wear and heat-related damage as well as provide a superior finish. Surface finishes are better because the coating keeps the cutting edge from deforming or chipping. This coating can also be used when dry machining due to its high resistance to heat and wear.