DLC Coating or Diamond-Like Carbon Coating is a coating process in which an amorphous carbon material reflecting certain properties of Diamond is deposited on another material in order to increase the lifetime of the latter.
DLC coating and Diamond like carbon coating is extensively used in several industries such as automobile, razor blades, optical coating, bio-medical, space vehicle manufacturing, and weapon manufacturing for its unique properties such as,
- High resistance to abrasive and adhesive wear
- Electrical resistance
There are seven-known different forms of DLC or diamond like carbon coating among which the most efficient form is tetrahedral amorphous carbon or ta-C. Many experiments were carried out to test the efficiency of DLC coating or diamond like carbon coating and all of them proved that the coating largely improves hardness and lifetime of the subject material. For example, just 2 μm thickness of ta-C on Stainless Steel would drastically improve its lifetime against abrasive wear from one week to 85 years.
DLC coatings or Diamond like carbon coating are basically done by bombarding the target material with carbon ions in vacuum. This deposition of a thin film of carbon ions is usually carried out using two techniques namely Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD).
- DLC coating is used in automobile industry to reduce the wear and tear of parts such as cams, cam shafts, cam follower, bearings, etc.
- It is used to protect hard-disks from head crashes.
- In razor blades to reduce friction and ensure smoothness.
- Thermal cameras.
- Used in lathe industry to reduce abrasive wear of drill bits, and cutting tools.
- In manufacturing artificial knee joints and coronary artery stents.
- In Space vehicles to reduce wear during launch and orbiting.