Manufacturing


Surface Treatments

Technical Applications

Summary

Surface treatments include various hardening techniques, from chemical to laser, and range all the way to thin films, an example also of artificial structuring. In general, the treatments offer a way to tailor the surface properties of a material without changing the bulk properties. This allows very hard cutting tools to have great strength and toughness, for example, or allowing materials to survive very corrosive conditions.

Characteristics

Surface treatments include various hardening techniques, from chemical to laser, and range all the way to thin films, an example also of artificial structuring. In general, the treatments offer a way to tailor the surface properties of a material without changing the bulk properties. This allows very hard cutting tools to have great strength and toughness, for example, or allowing materials to survive very corrosive conditions.

ImpactEconomy

Although militarily distinct applications are rare today, some parts of high speed aircraft and submarines require surface treatments different from those available in civilian markets.

WorldView

The United States and Japan are world leaders in diamond thin-film technology. With products such as diamond tool bits and heat sinks already on the market, both countries are aggressively funding research toward advanced applications such as diamond-based semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, displays, and biomedical coatings. The United States is very strong in some applications, such as military products and diamond windows for infrared transmitting devices. However, Japan has a focused government research program targeting electronics and optical device applications--areas which industry experts predict will eventually account for most of the market for diamond films. While Europe and the rest of the world trail significantly in technology and funding, over two dozen countries worldwide are pursuing basic research. However, given the funding levels in Japan and the United States, Europe and the rest of the world will likely need increased efforts to become competitive.