PtIr protective coating system for precision glass molding tools
Design, evaluation and mechanism of degradation
During Precision Glass Molding (PGM), the molding tools have to withstand severe thermo-chemical and thermo-mechanical loads cyclically. To protect their high-quality surface against degradation and increase their service lifetime, protective coatings are applied on the molding tools. In this work, we designed four different PtIr protective coating systems, where the thickness of the PtIr layer and the adhesion layer were varied. Their lifetimes were evaluated and compared using an in-house built testing bench. Among all the studied coating systems, the protective coating, which consists of a 600-nm-thick PtIr layer and a 20-nm-thick Cr adhesion layer, showed the best durability. To understand the degradation mechanism of the coating during actual engineering production, an industrial PGM machine was used and emulation PGM tests were conducted. Detailed sample characterization was performed using an array of complementary techniques including white light interferometry (WLI), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and atom probe tomography (APT). Phenomena such as interdiffusion, oxidation, coating spallation and glass sticking on the coating were observed and are discussed in the context of optimization of the coating's performance and durability.