Glossary of surface technology

Titanium nitride

Titanium nitride TiN is a widely used, extremely hard surface coat intended to increase the hardness and service life of tools, in particular metal machining tools. Titanium nitride coats are characterised by their yellow-golden colour. Because they are difficult to sinter, components are rarely made of solid titanium nitride. There are several options for manufacturing TiN:

  • Titanium can be directly plasma-nitrified in a hydrogen/nitrogen atmosphere.
  • TiN coats can be provided by plasma coating in an atmosphere of titanium tetrachloride, hydrogen and nitrogen, where not only TiN but also hydrochloric acid forms as a reaction product.
  • Thin coats can be generated in PVD processes by means of sputteringProcess gas is a nitrogen/argon mixture. A titanium plate is used as a target. Titanium atoms are released by argon ion bombardment and deposit on the substrate together with nitrogen atoms from the process gas.

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