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The Bottom Line
HDT Inc. called for Phygen's patented  FortiPhySM coating to toughen critical forming pins. This resulted in a phenomenal increase in hits per tool, even compared to industry-standard TiN PVD coating.

The Numbers
With TiN coating:
100,000 blanks

With FortiPhy:
415,000 blanks

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See Other Emerging Application Success Stories where FortiPhy Chromium-Nitride (CrN) Surface Coatings Have Helped.




Metal Forming Success Story

Measurable Success with FortiPhySM Low-Temperature, Thin Film Tool Coatings by Phygen at HDT

Ron Hart and Tim Leaf of Header Die and Tool, Inc. (HDT) are always looking for ways to improve the productivity of their fastener cold-heading tools. Their experience shows that FortiPhySM low-temperature coatings by Phygen provide the right solution for increasing toughness and extending the life of cold-forming tooling.

As a high-precision shop, HDT produces all types of perishable (replaceable) tooling used in the production of fasteners, rivets, and bearings for a variety of automotive and aerospace manufacturers. HDT is also a leading licensed producer of Torx, Torx Plus, and Strux tooling, made to strict proprietary licensing standards. Header Die and Tool is one of the few licensed suppliers producing both internal and external Torx configurations.

For a licensed manufacturer, maintaining the precise head tolerances required from beginning to end on a long production run is no easy task. The heads are cold-formed in one stroke, with dies forming the external head profile. The same stroke includes a high-pressure forming operation in which multiple punch pins form the precise Torx drive recesses.

According to Hart, wear in Torx drive recess forming pins was unacceptable during early tests. A PVD TiN coating was applied, which improved pin life to the tune of 100,000 blanks. Looking for even further improvement, Hart decided to call Dave Bell of Phygen. Dave suggested a trial of FortiPhy thin film tool coatings on the forming pins. The result was phenomenal. The same pins produced 415,000 blanks of exceptional quality. In another operation, pins that previously had produced 480,000 parts later produced 950,000 after FortiPhy thin film coating was applied.

The key to FortiPhy's exceptional toughness, low coefficient of friction, and corrosion resistance is 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 processes of the past, Phygen can apply thinner coatings that outperform thicker, less-uniform coatings. In addition, Phygen's 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.

Header Die and Tool was an early adopter of FortiPhy low-temperature coatings. Now, they are sold on them. According to Leaf, in all test cases, applications of FortiPhy coatings were successful in increasing tool life. The plan is to use FortiPhy coatings on future tooling, wherever HDT or its customers need to extend tool life.

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