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The Bottom Line
Exedy America Corp. turned to Phygen
Coatings’ FortiPhySM UltraEnduranceSM chromium-nitride coating for its stamping tools in order to maintain tolerances and part quality, increasing productivity and tool life by 3 times longer than an alternative coating.

The Numbers
With TiCN coating: Produced 78,000 pieces before coating failed and tooling needed to be recoated.
With FortiPhy coating: More than three times the number of parts were run with no recoating and no downtime.

FF Journal article
See the Phygen/Exedy article as featured in
FFJournal, May 2010

See Other Metal Forming Success Stories with FortiPhy High Performance Surface Coating

Die Casting Success Stories about FortiPhy Corrosion Resistant Coating

Injection Molding Success Stories with FortiPhy PVD-based Tool and Die Coating

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




Metal Forming Success Story

No Part Lube, No Problem
Thanks to New Tool Coating

Exedy America Corp., a Tier One automotive supplier, relies on lubrication built into the tooling by tool coatings to produce quality parts.The Mascot, TN stamper has tried various coatings and found success with a coating process using the patented physical vapor deposition (PVD) technology. The PVD process has delivered three times the tool life as compared to an alternative coating process while maintaining part tolerances.

Shows redesigned die featuring the FortiPhy coated form ring that has no size movement or distortion. Exedy America can rotate the form ring within a retainer ring to a new position when wear appears in the form area, using the entire form ring to keep running.

Round Parts
Must Stay Round

At Mascot, Exedy America uses transfer presses to produce transmission parts for automotive OEMS and aftermarket sellers. Hot- and cold-rolled steel from 1 to 5 mm thick form the bulk of these parts.

The company produces a fair amount of round parts, such as torque converters as well as components inside the converters. All these parts must maintain their roundness for proper assembly.

Exedy America uses thermal-diffusion (TD) coatings extensively to maintain tolerances, but the TD process can distort tooling because it is a hot process, according to Randy Collinsworth, the stamper’s tool and die director. The process
heats the tooling, causing expansion and contraction, and if that results in tool dimensional changes after coating, the tool cannot be machined back to tolerance.

Pat Rosenfeld, Phygen Coatings points out to Darryl Weaver from Exedy America that FortiPhy Ultra Endurance coating had run 245,000 pieces compared to TiCN coating that ran 78,000 parts.

Lower-Temp. Coating Eliminates Tool Distortion

After learning of the FortiPhy UltraEndurance chromium-nitride (CrN) coating, a patented PVD technology from Phygen Coatings Inc., Minneapolis, MN, Collinsworth decided to put it to the test.The FortiPhy process creates a thin and dense nanocrystalline coating structure that adheres to virtually any tool-steel substrate, according to Dave Bell, Phygen president.The coating process, which creates energetic nanoparticles, results in an adhesion level three times higher than conventional coating processes, he says.

According to Bell, both chemical-vapor-deposition (CVD) coatings and TD coatings are usually 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, says Bell. Coatings do not last with subsequent applications due to depletion of the carbide particles. However, PVD technology enables subsequent coatings to last as long as the first. One more plus of FortiPhy coatings, says Bell, is their low coefficient of friction: less than 0.1 in typical conditions.  

After rotating the ring 3 to 4 times, Exedy expects to run 750,000 to 1 million parts before recoating the ring.

Coating Increases Tool Life Threefold

In one test, Collinsworth used M2 steel tooling coated with FortiPhy to work 2.3-mm-thick cold-rolled steel into a plate used in torque converter assemblies. Tooling with a TiCN coating needed recoating after 78,000 pieces, while the FortiPhy coated tooling produced three times the number of parts.

Phygen’s FortiPhy coating provided similar results for other tests, including one focused on a draw ring. As part of Exedy America’s cost-reduction program, a new re-engineered ring is half the size of its predecessor, saving on coating costs as many coating suppliers charge by weight. Also, only one-third of the old ring, installed in a fixed position, was needed in part production. Only one-third of the new ring is required as well, but it is designed to be rotated to a new position should out-of-tolerance wear occur. With a Phygen FortiPhy coating, the new ring has yet to be rotated, and Exedy America officials expect the ring to run 750,000 parts - 250,000 for each rotation - before recoating, which triples tool life over the old ring.

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 /