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WC sputtering targets

Tungsten carbide sputtering targets

Tungsten carbide (WC) is used to manufacture DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coatings. These are particularly hard and durable, and protect engine parts as well as other highly stressed components in the automotive sector against wear. DLC coatings reduce the coefficient of friction of gears, extrusion dies, and many other components, thereby guaranteeing a long service life.

The advantages of our targets at a glance:

  • High density

  • Excellent thermal
    resistance

  • Optimum, homogeneous microstructure

  • Highest material purity

  • Qualities with and without binders

Production according to your specific requirements

For coatings made of tungsten carbide, we provide round and rectangular as well as bonded targets on backing plates made of molybdenum or copper. Our bonded targets are more stable and break-proof and thereby easier to handle. We usually use indium as the solder;

we can provide a tailor-made target for your application.

The most important information at a glance:

Purity [%] 99.9
Guaranteed density [g/cm3] 15.50
Grain size [µm] 2
Thermal conductivity [W/(m·K)] 120
Thermal coefficient of expansion [1/K] 4.3 · 10-6

Quality you can rely on

High density guarantees smooth layers

As a ceramic material, tungsten carbide requires high temperatures of 1,900 to 2,200°C for compression. We therefore produce our targets using hot presses and thereby achieve at least 99% of the theoretical density. As a result, no powder particles are released from the target during sputtering and the coating adheres perfectly.

Optimum microstructure for the perfect layer

We use tungsten carbide powder with the smallest grain size as the raw material, which means that the microstructure of our targets is extremely fine and homogeneous. The advantage of this is that the target material is stripped away evenly during the coating process and the coating is smoother. Through the further optimization of the microstructure, we can also use tungsten carbide to manufacture arc cathodes.

Excellent thermal resistance guarantees a long service life

During the coating process, the target is subjected to high temperatures. Once sputtering is complete, the material cools down quickly. This can cause cracks or breaks in the target. Thanks to our special manufacturing process, our targets have a particularly high thermal shock resistance and can easily withstand countless temperature cycles.

Maximum material purity for top quality

The purer the coating material, the better the quality of the hard material layer. From the outset, we only use the purest powder and mix this in our own facilities to guarantee the highest material purity. We monitor every step – from the powder to the finished product – ensuring that only targets with the specific guaranteed density, purity, and a homogeneous microstructure leave our factory.

Everything from a single source – from the powder to the finished target
Plansee bonding shop

As a leading target manufacturer, we do everything ourselves. From mixing and pressing the metal powder to forming, machining, and bonding our targets, we also develop new materials to optimize both coating processes and layers. And of course we test the quality of our targets using state-of-the-art measurement methods.

Can be used for the following coating processes

If there's something we know for sure, it's that everything in the PVD coating process must be perfectly matched. It is only with the perfect interplay between high-quality sputtering targets, arc cathodes, and process parameters that the layer that suits your exact requirements can be produced. This means that new coating materials are continuously being developed in cooperation with our customers and numerous development institutes.

We only ever use binder-free tungsten carbide to manufacture our sputtering targets. The material contains no substances such as nickel or cobalt. During the coating process, the target material is atomized and can cause damage to health if inhaled. But our binder-free tungsten carbide targets are completely safe.

In combination with carbon, our tungsten carbide forms a WC/a-C:H layer. This is applied by means of a reactive magnetron sputtering process. A chromium coating is usually applied as the substrate in order to improve the adhesion of the DLC layer.

  • Reactive magnetron sputtering

    Hard material layers and decorative layers based on aluminum, titanium, zirconium, chromium, and ceramics are applied to tools, components, and other products by means of reactive magnetron sputtering.

    The coating material is placed opposite the product to be coated as a sputtering target in a vacuum chamber. The chamber is filled with argon gas and a voltage of several hundred volts is applied. This ignites a plasma made of positively charged argon particles (argon ions) and free electrons. The positively charged argon ions are accelerated towards the negatively charged cathode (target). There they hit the target surface with a high kinetic energy of up to several hundred electron volts (eV). As a result, the argon particles force sputtering target atoms out of the surface. A potential is now applied between the vacuum chamber and the substrate. This causes the particles of the hard material to accelerate towards the workpiece to be coated. There they react with a reactive gas that has been introduced (nitrogen, carbon, or oxygen) and are deposited as a thin nitride, carbide, or oxide hard material layer on the workpiece.

Our expertise for your individual sputtering targets and arc cathodes

Are you searching for the optimum layer? Put your trust in our decades of experience and large database of chemical compositions and manufacturing processes.

Our team is continuously further developing our sputtering targets and arc cathodes to improve the following material and coating properties

It can be particularly challenging when using ceramic materials to set the arc coating system correctly. We therefore test various process parameters in near-industrial systems to provide our customers with the best possible support.

Safely sputtering tungsten carbide

Paul J. Rudnik, Sales and Marketing Manager for hard coating in North America, describes a new bracket for arc cathodes made of brittle materials:

Other products for coating technology

We are happy to provide the corresponding fastening materials such as graphite foils, screws, washers, and bolts. Visit our product page to find out more about other materials:

Order standard targets from stock in the online shop