Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) is a class of amorphous carbon material that displays some of the typical properties of diamond. DLC is usually applied as coatings to other materials that could benefit from some of those properties.
DLC occurs in seven different forms, which contain considerable amounts of sp3 hybridized carbon atoms. Diamond has two different crystalline polytypes: carbon atoms organized in 3-D cubic lattices, and carbon atoms organized in hexagonal lattices (called lonsdaleite).
The different forms of DLC are obtained by mixing these two polytypes in various ways at the nanoscale level of structure.
The hardest, strongest, and slickest DLC form is known as tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C). This form of DLC is at the same time amorphous, flexible, and yet purely sp3 bonded “diamond”.
The methods for producing DLC films are broadly divided into two types: Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
CVD: Chemical Vapor Deposition
The CVD method uses a gas (a hydrocarbon such as methane). The CVD method includes radio-frequency (RF), directcurrent (DC) discharge, Penning ionization gauge (PIG),and self-discharge methods.
PVD: Physical Vapor Deposition
The PVD method uses a solid (graphite) as the carbon source. The PVD method is further divided into the arc, sputter, and laser vapor deposition methods.
The standard properties of DLC which are high hardness, wear resistance and slickness makes it the best coating option for a wide range of application. DLC is often used to prevent wear on metal cutting tools. DLC is also used in bearings, cams, cam followers, and shafts in the automobile industry.
A whole new range of possibilities opens with the CoolDiamond DLC® coating. Our unique coating process at room temperature enables plastic coating (includes chalcogenides). Applications of the CoolDiamond DLC® are endless e.g. infra- red optics, thermal imaging, light weight head gear (e.g. night vision goggles, Heads Up Display), engine parts (tribology), sensors and components.
CoolDiamond DLC® is adapted for the toughest conditions and it is the logical choice for working in space. In partnership with Defence SA, we are taking part in the South Australian Space Capability Directory . This directory provides a clear view of South Australia’s space economy & opportunities.
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