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The Bottom Line
Pentaflex incorporates Phygen Coatings new, larger chambers for tool coating to handle tool details and keep Pentaflex’s stamping lines running. Pentaflex first used Phygen FortiPhy seven years ago and is pleased with Phygen’s new coating chamber size and ability to coat up to 3 times larger parts.

The Numbers
With other coatings: Produced 900 pieces before coating failed and tooling needed to be recoated.
With FortiPhy coating: Has surpassed 40,000 and is still running.

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Metal Forming Success Story

Phygen Capacity Increase
Just What Pentaflex Ordered

Phygen's new coating allows coating of large tool details, such as those used to produce these deep-drawn emission-control parts at Pentaflex.

Pentaflex, Incorporated, in its 125,000-square-foot manufacturing operation in Springfield, OH, stamps and assembles components primarily for the tractor-trailer industry. New federal
regulations governing air quality and
emissions have brought new work for semi-tractor exhaust units.

Phygen's Large Chambers Can FortiPhy Large Tools

Parts for semi air-regulatory units comprise a portion
of that new work.

“These deep-drawn stainless-steel parts are very large, with draws from 8 to10 in.,” explains Michael Stull, Pentaflex tooling manager. Stull, a fan of Phygen Coating's FortiPhy tool coating process since first using it seven years ago, is very happy with the new Phygen coating chamber size and ability to coat up to 3 times larger parts. Details used to produce his parts are very large too plus the larger chambers handle these details and keep Pentaflex's stamping lines running.

“The FortiPhy coatings protect our tool details run after run after run,” he says. “When they need service, we ship them to Phygen to be cleaned up and recoated, and they go right back into service. We have not had to replace them.”

Intricate forming features place great demands on tooling at Pentaflex. With FortiPhy coatings from Phygen Coatings, tool details produce these features hit after hit.

Another Pentaflex job, a large-diameter drawn drum, demands no imperfections in the inner or outer diameters. “We’ve been running this job for at least three-and-a-half years,” says Michael Stull, Pentaflex tooling manager,” and we have yet to replace the FortPhy-coated details.”

That wasn’t true with other coating processes Pentaflex has tried. In one case, the process could only protect tooling to 900 hits before recoating, and even then the coating process would pull out carbon from the tools and thus shorten tool life, according to Stull. The same tooling, with a FortiPhy coating that doesn’t deplete carbides in the  tools’ surface, has surpassed 40,000 hits and is still running strong.

How FortiPhy

The FortiPhy process creates a thin and dense nanocrystalline coating structure that adheres to virtually any tool-steel substrate such as D-2 or better materials that allow for high temperature draw. The coating process, which creates energetic nanoparticles, results in a higher level of adhesion — three times higher — than is possible with PVD conventional coating processes.

Conversely, both chemical-vapor-deposition (CVD) coatings and TD coatings usually are applied at temperatures greater than 1800 F. In the TD process, the coating
combines with carbide particles in the substrate to form a hard layer. But only some of the substrate’s carbide particles can migrate to the surface and then only over a short distance. Subsequent applications yield coatings that do not last as long due to depletion of the carbide particles. PVD technology, on the other hand, enables subsequent coatings to last as long as the first. One more plus of FortiPhy coatings is their low coefficient of friction: less than 0.2 in typical conditions.   

Quick Turnaround

“Phygen is the best supplier as far as supplying us with a very high quality product in a very, very short lead time, says Stull. “In some cases we can overnight tooling and Phygen will have it back to us in two to three days. Phygen does an excellent job of scheduling, and keeps us up and running.”

More On the Company…

“The surface enhancement performance leader,” Phygen Coatings, Inc. specializes in coating tooling for difficult applications such as forming high strength low alloy, stainless steel and thicker materials. Because the coating is applied at a lower temperature, (950˚ F) there is no distortion or size change to tools making it easier to assemble complex tooling. Phygen also offers professional polishing services and a program for recoating tools without limitation with repeated recoating using its stripping and refurbishing program.

For more information, contact Phygen Coatings, Inc., 1400 Marshall St., NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413-1040, Phone: 888-749-4361, Fax: 612-331-4230.

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