The Bottom Line
In 2000, Square D began testing Phygen coatings on its high-wear tooling components.  “The FortiPhy coating seems to work extremely well—even with our abrasive materials,” says Chad Nadgwick, tool room manager.  “Phygen’s FortiPhy coating seems to be pretty remarkable.”

The Numbers
Normally high-wear molds would be pulled for repairs after 12 months of production, Chad Nadgwick, tool room manager, notes, but the FortiPhy coating appears to have significantly extended the available production life of the tooling.


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Injection Molding Success Story

High-Performance PVD-Based Tool Surface Coating Resists Abrasive Wear at Square D

High-Performance FortiPhy PVD Surface Coating from Phygen Helps Thermoset Component Manufacturer with Injection Molding Process

Square D Company, Lincoln, NE, is a provider of thermoset components that are produced by injection and injection compression molding.  “We mold highly abrasive compounds with glass fiber content ranging from nine percent to 25 percent,” says John MacKichan, molding manager.  “Over the years, we have tried a wide variety of surface treatments to extend tool life.  But, even with surface treatments, tooling wear still is a major issue.”

In 2000, Square D began testing Phygen coatings on its high-wear tooling components.  “The FortiPhy coating seems to work extremely well—even with our abrasive materials,” says Chad Nadgwick, tool room manager.  “We have tested FortiPhy coated mold components in the most critical wear points, such as gate inserts, and liners on the injection compression molds with favorable results.  Phygen’s FortiPhy coating seems to be pretty remarkable.”

Square D also found that FortiPhy PVD surface coating did not degrade the fine surface finish it puts on tools.  Also, the coating does not create any dimensional tolerance issues.  Normally high-wear molds would be pulled for repairs after 12 months of production, Nadgwick notes, but the FortiPhy coating appears to have significantly extended the available production life of the tooling.

Square D expects success with the Phygen FortiPhy corrosion resistant coating to provide benefits of cost savings from decreased tool replacement and part quality enhancements.  FortiPhy’s exceptional toughness, low coefficient of friction, and corrosion resistance stems from its uniform, nanocrystalline structure.

Phygen’s patented plasma acceleration process improves upon traditional PVD methods to produce the most uniform coating deposition layer possible, with exceptionally high adhesion.

Having solved the uniformity problems inherent in the PVD process of the past, Phygen can apply thinner coatings that outperform thicker, less-uniform coatings.  In addition, Phygen coatings are applied at much lower temperatures.  Low-temperature processing and thinner coatings help keep critical tool dimensions within tolerance, without the costly rework of other processes.


Phygen Coatings, Inc.
1400 Marshall Street, NE / Minneapolis, MN 55413-1040
Toll Free 888.749.4361 / Fax 612.331.4230 / tech@phygen.com