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Zirconium Nitride Coating Services #690-102
Chemical Name:
Zirconium Nitride

Detailed Product Description:

Zirconium Nitride (ZrN) is one of the hardest of the Physical Vapor Deposition (“PVD”) hard coatings.   Its unique characteristics have made it suitable for applications where Titanium Nitride has not performed well.  It has excellent erosion resistance, good lubricity and ductility.  Zirconium Nitride has worked particularly well in non-ferrous applications.


Like Titanium Nitride, Zirconium Nitride won’t chip, peel, or flake.  It also has the beautiful appearance of bright polished gold.  It is self-lubricating/non-stick, wear resistant and chemical and corrosion resistant—you can store it in saltwater. 


Its extreme hardness at 2,800 Vickers (equivalent to about 88 Rockwell C) will allow it to last two to four times longer than Titanium Nitride. 


Zirconium Nitride is applied in a vacuum in a plasma field and forms a metallurgical bond with the substrate.  It is typically applied in a film thickness of 2 to 5 microns.


Inherent in the process is coating thickness uniformity.  No buildup occurs in corners yet the coating throws well into complex geometric features.


Typical Uses:

Most commonly used for extending life of cutting tools, punching and forming dies and wear components.

Demonstrates two to seven times the cutting life of similarly coated parts using Titanium Nitride.


Key Features/Benefits:

Resistant to nearly all chemicals (acids, bases, solvents, saltwater, etc.)

Non-stick/non-galling surface—perfect for titanium fasteners



Surface Micro-Hardness:                                    2,800 Vickers (equivalent to 88Rc)

Thermal Stability:                                                 1,050ºF

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion:                    9.4 ppm/ºC  (9.4 microinches/inch/ºC)

Thermal Conductivity:                                        0.046 Calories/second-cm-ºC

Density:                                                                 5.22 grams/cm3

Crystalline Structure:                                           Face centered cubic

Modulus of Elasticity:                                         600 GigaPascals

Coating Thickness:                                              5 microns typical (range from 2 to 5 microns)

Deposition Temperature:                                    700 to 800ºF

Electrical Resistivity:                                           25 micro-Ohm-cm


Substrate Selection:

PVD coatings are applied to many different materials.  Materials coated include most metals, ceramics, and some plastics.  Substrates must be compatible with a high vacuum environment and must be able to withstand the deposition temperatures of the process. 


The most common materials successfully coated with ZrN are the tool steels, stainless steel, mild steel, titanium alloys, carbides, Inconel, Hastelloy, the copper alloys and the aluminum alloys.


Avoid metals containing significant amounts of Cadmium (Cd), Tin (Sn) or Lead (Pb) and materials that can outgas in the vacuum chamber. Assemblies and press fit parts can also create an out-gassing situation. 


Substrate Preparation:

Proper adhesion of the coating requires a pristine surface of the part.  The surface must be free of paint, glue, rust, oxidation, etc.  Grit blasting after heat treating and before finish grinding has been found the best approach.  Areas that are not important for coating still must not have a contaminant on the surface that could outgas, as this material will migrate throughout the chamber and contaminate all of the coating.


We clean the parts immediately before coating them.  They should be ready for coating, and cleaned of foreign material, then coated with a light rust-preventive oil for shipment to us.  Parts that do not require oil may be wrapped in a suitable material to prevent contamination and/or prevent oxide buildup.


Coating Services:

Please contact our Technical Support department via phone or e-mail to discuss your needs and to obtain a quotation.  Pricing is based on minimum lot charge.  Thus piece part cost is dependent upon size and quantity per lot.




Call For Pricing: (650) 273-2113
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