Knife Material and Coatings: Types and Advantages

Depending on the application and what you are trying to cut, the knife’s material and protective coating are predominant factors affecting consistent cut quality and service life. Wear-related failures and damages can cause the knife to lose functionality and dimension. To combat this problem, the industry has come up with two essential, innovative solutions.

The first one is to introduce newer materials that are more wear-resistant than the previous ones. The second solution is to introduce some wear resistant coatings to the surfaces of industrial knives to increase performance, durability and provide element-resistant capabilities.

Below are some of the popular wear coating materials, advantages, and resistances for metal surfaces.

TiN (Titanium Nitride)

The two elements, titanium and nitrogen, usually combine to form a super hard ceramic alloy for coating Industrial Knives. Typically applied as Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), Titanium Nitride protects cutting surfaces because of its resistant properties against premature wear and friction.

Coating thickness varies depending on requirements; however, a typical 1-5-micrometer coating of TiN when applied to industrial knives makes them last longer. Other advantages of TiN include resistance properties against high temperature, corrosion, friction and wear, good ductility, excellent hardness and adhesion, good chemical stability, and excellent lubrication.

TiCN (Titanium CarbonNitride)

Titanium CarboNitride or TiCN is a compound formed when titanium combines with nitrogen and carbon to form stable nitrides and carbon nitrides for metal matrix reinforcement. It mostly comes in handy when you need a coating material harder than TiN, carbide, and three times harder than chrome.

A 3-micrometer thick film of the grayish TiCN is environmentally friendly, FDA compliant, and non-toxic. It offers a smooth uniform coating, super strong adhesion, and combines with a broad range of materials. Titanium CarboNitride provides enhanced resistance against corrosion, abrasion and can withstand lower temperatures for extended periods than TiN.

Since TiCN shows wear resistance capabilities, it is applicable in industrial processes, especially in sharp edges, precision instruments, over 750 degrees Fahrenheit temperature applications, and micro-welding. It is also excellent for close tolerance parts. Other advantages of Titanium CarboNitride include;

  • Uniform thickness.
  • Resistance against chipping, flaking, or blistering.
  • Non-toxic hence applicable in food processing machines and surgical devices.
  • TiCN coated tools last three to ten times longer than non-coated tools.

DLC (Diamond-like Carbon coating)

Diamond-like carbon is an artificial material that displays some specific natural diamond properties. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for protective films to cover mechanical parts. DLC coatings are deposited on the mechanical parts in the form of gas or vapor then solidified to serve the protective functions using a method called PECVD (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition)

Like amorphous carbon, DLC offers excellent resistance against wear, corrosion and abrasion from salty water at sea, humidity, and oils. It is thus durable, exceptionally hard, and offers excellent resilience at operating temperatures below 480*F / 250* C. You can successfully apply DLC on the following materials;

  • High Speed Steels
  • Tool Steels
  • Carbon Steels
  • Stainless Steels
  • Carbide Materials

Non-Stick Coating

Probably, you have never sat down to think about how your favorite non-stick frying pan works and what has been added to the steel to produce such properties. Non-stick elements are popular with cookware because they allow people to fry their favorite food until it produces a delicious brown color without sticking on the cookware.

Non-stick coatings refer to a thin layer added to industrial knives, cutting tools, cookware and other appliances to produce non-stick properties and increase endurance. Typically, stainless steel is coated with Teflon and marketed as seasoned cookware, silica, anodized aluminum, and enameled iron.

The non-stick substances are also suitable for industrial applications to prevent sticky buildup from adhesives, plastics, and food. The advantages of non-stick coatings include excellent corrosion and wear resistance, good release properties, and unique strength.

(Note: There are FDA approved coatings TGW uses)

PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene)

PolyTetraFluoroEthylene is a substance that must have been every innovator’s dream before it was invented because of its high flexibility and resistance to most elements. PTFE melts at approximately 327 °C, is stable at -200°C to 260°C, chemically inert, and insoluble in most chemicals and solvents. Quite impressive!

To top it all, PTFE offers excellent resistance against electricity, chemicals, and extreme temperatures. Other advantages include;

  • Extremely high density—2200kg/m3
  • Water-resistant because fluorine is highly electronegative
  • Flexural strength
  • High dielectric strength

Bottom Line

The modern world has progressed along the technological path, but it would be hard to imagine a world without wear coatings for excellent resistance. These materials ensure the longevity of many types of machine parts including industrial knives, appliances, and cookware.

If you would like to learn more about our industrial knives and which type is best for your application, please contact us today.


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