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TiCN: The titanium-carbon-nitride coating

February 6, 2018

In contrast to the TiN coating, the TiCN coating contains carbon as a further chemical element. Find out what surplus the element brings in the application.

TiCN: The titanium-carbon-nitride coating

General information about TiCN coating

The titanium-carbon-nitride coating (TiCN) is a standard coating type and a chemical compound of the three elements titanium, carbon, and nitrogen. The coating thickness is between 1-4 micrometer (μm).

TiCN offers, with a nano hardness of 32 Gigapascal (GPa), a high hardness and at the same time good toughness. Higher cutting speeds can be achieved. But pay attention to the temperature development. If high temperatures develop in the application, cooling is absolutely necessary.

On the other hand, during tapping the friction forces are reduced to such an extent that lubrication is not or only partially necessary.

The coefficient of friction of only 0,2 μ is very low. This significantly extends the service life. Compared to uncoated tools, the service life can be increased by up to four to five times, depending on the application.

TiCN starts to oxidize at lower temperatures (400°C), but shows hardness and abrasive wear resistance. TiCN is used in taps, for example, as there are no high temperatures and the very low coefficient of friction supports threading.

For which applications is TiCN coating suitable?

The TiCN coating is very well suitable for cutting hard materials like e.g. steel (N/mm²) < 1,300, stainless steel, and cast iron, as well as brass and plastics.

TiCN is also very well suited for threading, punching, forming, and hobbing in high and low alloyed steels.

The maximum application temperature is 400° Celcius (approx. 750° Fahrenheit).

Cooling is recommended or mandatory at higher cutting speeds.

Comparison of TiAlN and AlTiN

Increase of service life (compared to uncoated tools) three to four times longer depending on application, up to four to five times longer
Cutting speed normal depending on application, high and low
Application less hard materials (steel (N/mm²) <900) hard materials (steel <1,300 N/mm², stainless steel)
Cooling recommended recommended or mandatory at higher cutting speeds
Nano hardness 24 Gigapascal (GPa) 32 Gigapascal (GPa)
Coat thickness 1-7 μm 1-4 μm
Coefficient of friction 0,55 μ 0,2 μ
Max. temperature 600°C 400°C

TiCN has better properties than TiN coating, except the maximum application temperature. Compared to TiN coating, the additional element carbon improves the nano hardness and service life of the tool.


  • Standard coating
  • Depending on application, up to four to five times longer service life
  • Very high hardness and at the same time good toughness
  • Chemical compound of titanium, carbon, and nitrogen
  • Nano hardness: up to 32 GPa
  • Coat thickness: 1-4 μm
  • Coefficient of friction: 0,2 μ
  • Temperature: 400°C
  • Application: steel (N/mm²) < 1,300, stainless steel
  • Cooling is mandatory at higher cutting speeds

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