Innovation Through Technology

By heavily investing in R&D, Surface Technology Coatings is combining the latest technology and Australian ingenuity, to provide world class capabilities for your products. Together we will support Australian manufacturing at a global level.

Surface Technology Coatings and its parent company Sutton Tools Pty Ltd are a key financial partner in the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC Ltd.), based in Victoria. DMTC Ltd. represents a major partnership between Commonwealth and State Governments, the research sector and private industry, struck to develop and deliver advanced materials and manufacturing technology through industry led research programs that provide enhanced capability to Australian Defence activities. DMTC has installed the Innova Coating System at Surface Technology Coatings in order to provide a unique and worlds-best-practice underpinning of activities to achieve the Centre’s vision over the next seven years, based on Surface Technology Coatings’ proven track record of market leading products and processes.

TiN (Titanium Nitride)

TiN was the first PVD wear resistant film coating introduced at Surface Technology Coatings, using the world’s leading low voltage electron beam technology by Balzers of Switzerland. TiN is the standard general purpose coating for protecting a wide variety of tools and parts from wear. TiN is a good choice for the machining of iron based materials, die casting and plastic mould tooling.

TiN is also a good coating for wear part applications demanding resistance to abrasive and adhesive wear. TiN is also an attractive gold colour. LVEB TiN is extremely smooth.

Applications and Benefits

  • General purpose use
  • 3 to 8 times longer tool life
  • Wide range of materials
  • Higher tool speeds and feeds than uncoated tools

Improved performance with

  • Wide range of cutting tools in both HSS and Carbide
  • Plastic moulds and moulding machine parts
  • Slitting knives for the plastic and paper industries
  • Wear parts
  • Medical and dental instruments
  • Forming tools


Colour                                                Gold – Yellow

Coating Thickness                1 – 3 μm

Microhardness                     2300 HV

Thermal Stability                   up to 600°C

Coeff. Friction vs Steel        0.4


TiCN (Titanium Carbonitride)

TiCN has a fine grain dense structure that provides excellent toughness and high hardness. TiCN is harder and tougher than TiN, consequently it exhibits a high resistance to edge chipping.

This coating is a good choice for milling, forming and punching tools that encounter high mechanical stresses. TiCN is also recommended for applications cutting highly abrasive and/or gummy materials such as cast iron, brass and some cast aluminium alloys. LVEB TiCN is extremely smooth.


Applications and Benefits

  • High performance applications
  • Difficult to machine materials
  • Abrasive materials – cast iron and aluminium alloys
  • Adhesive materials – copper and copper based alloys
  • Higher speeds and feeds possible for enhanced machine productivity compared to TiN
  • Wear resistance and toughness superior to TiN


Improved performance with

  • Higher speed conventional milling
  • Gear cutting tools
  • Heavy duty stamping
  • Plastic moulds and extrusion tools for plastics containing >30% glass fillers (abrasion resistance)
  • Deep drawing tools



Colour                                                Blue – Grey

Coating Thickness                2 – 4 μm

Microhardness                     3000 HV

Thermal Stability                   up to 400°C

Coeff. Friction vs Steel        0.4


CrN (Chromium Nitride)

CrN was developed to solve wear problems in special application areas where titanium based coatings were not successful.

CrN resists adhesive wear, corrosion and oxidation. It is recommended for the machining of aluminium and copper, high temperature die casting applications, hot forging of brass and tooling for PVC moulding and extrusion. It is harder than conventional chrome plating and the PVD coating process used to apply CrN has no negative environmental side effects. LVEB CrN is extremely smooth.

Applications and Benefits

  • Specialised applications
  • Cutting and forming of copper, nickel, and monel metal
  • Enhanced thermal stability and oxidation resistance
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Low internal stress of coating results in excellent adhesion under high loads

Improved performance with

  • Die casting of aluminium & zinc alloys
  • Replacement for hard chrome plating
  • Copper machining
  • PVC plastic moulding and extrusion tools


Colour                                                Silver – Grey

Coating Thickness                3 – 5 μm

Microhardness                     1750 HV

Thermal Stability                   up to 700°C

Coeff. Friction vs Steel        0.5


Steam Oxide

Steam Oxide is produced in a controlled dry steam furnace at an elevated temperature. The steam treatment of ferrous metals forms a thin, hard, well-adhered, blue-black oxide film, called magnetite (Fe3O4). The process is often referred to as ‘blueing’ or ‘blackening’.

The oxide layer produced is porous thereby retaining oil which lowers friction in ferrous applications, thus avoiding the problems of pick-up, cold welding on taps and ‘built-up edge’ on cutting edges.

The Ox process is environmentally friendly using water + heat to produce dry steam.


Applications and Benefits

  • Ferrous Metals, eg HSS
  • Prevents chip build-up on the cutting edges


Improved performance with

  • Cutting sticky ferrous materials
  • Increased corrosion resistance

* Not recommended in cutting applications for very soft or non-ferrous materials.


Futura Nano TiAlN (Titanium Aluminium Nitride)


Futura Nano (TiAlN), produced in the INNOVA, is a great all round coating for both HSS and carbide tools, especially in applications where there is a high thermal load.

TiAlN has a nanolayered structure which was engineered to give an optimum balance between hardness and internal stress.

High internal compressive stresses help to reduce the propagation of cracks through a coating therefore delaying the onset of failure. TiAlN also has improved sliding properties.


Applications and Benefits

  • Abrasive materials – cast iron and heat treated steel
  • Difficult to machine materials, such as stainless steel
  • Higher speeds and feeds
  • Reduces or eliminates use of coolants


Improved Performance with

  • Higher speed and feed machining
  • Dry or MQL machining
  • Machining of harder materials



Colour                                                Violet – Grey

Coating Thickness                4 μm

Microhardness                     3300 HV

Thermal Stability                   up to 900°C

Coeff. Friction vs Steel        0.3 – 0.35

Alcrona AICrN (Aluminium Chromium Nitride)

Alcrona (AlCrN), produced in the INNOVA, is a Titanium free coating for broad application in machining and forming operations. Alcrona has remarkable wear resistance at lower speeds and feeds and under high mechanical loads. At higher speeds, where hot hardness and oxidation resistance are important, Alcrona excels, compared to Titanium based coatings, with an operating temperature up to 1,100°C.


Alcrona is applicable to HSS and carbide tooling and for forming and forging operations, as well as cutting operations. Alcrona has shown great results in machining a wide variety of hardened steels up to 54 HRC both with and without coolant as well as low alloy steels and high tensile steels.


 Applications and Benefits

  • Low alloy steels and high tensile steels
  • Hardened steels up to 54 HRC
  • Forming / punching / blanking and hot forging


Improved Performance with

  • High speed machining
  • Dry or MQL machining
  • Higher productivity



  • Colour Blue – Grey
  • Coating Thickness 4 μm
  • Microhardness 3200 HV
  • Thermal Stability up to 1,100°C
  • Friction vs Steel 0.35