Is TiCN Coating Good for Aluminum? (Full Guide)

TiCN or Titanium CarboNitride is a carbon coating mostly used in place of Tin (Titanium Nitride).

Having a blue-grey tint, it has a hardness of about 3000 Vickers. Moreover, TiCN has an operating temperature of 750 degrees. But is TiCN coating good for aluminum?

A TiCN coating has a fine structure that provides remarkable toughness and hardness, which is why it is a popular choice for a coating.

In addition, TiCN is harder than even Tin, making it an ideal option for coating highly abrasive material such as cast iron.

But the question often asked by alloy makers is; Is TiCN coating good for aluminum? Let’s find out.

Is TiCN coating good for Aluminum?

Commercialized and used as a second-generation coating material after Tin, TiCN improves the hardness and wear resistance.

This is why TiCN coating is ideal for alloys such as Aluminum. It is excellent for drilling, high-silicon aluminum alloys, and all abrasive materials.

The oxidation temperature of TiCN is low, which means a coolant must be applied to control the temperature of the aluminum cutting edge.

Nevertheless, TiCN is suitable for drilling purposes and can be used for coating Aluminum tools.

Why use TiCN coating for Aluminum?

There are several reasons why TiCN is the ideal coating for aluminum tools. These are:

A. Provide hardness

A high surface hardness is one of the best ways to increase tool life made up of Aluminum.

TiCN has a high surface hardness, and additional carbon lends TiCN a greater hardness of 33%, changing the range from 3000-4000 Vickers.

This high hardness makes TiCN a suitable choice for coating non-ferrous materials such as Aluminum.

B. Has resistance to wear

The TiCN coating can protect against abrasion and wear.

The resistance to wear means that the coating done on aluminum tools and material does not wear off for 2-3 years.

C. Lends surface lubrication

A coating failure occurs when increased friction causes heat between surfaces.

This heat can be reduced by coating with a surface with fewer irregularities and less coarse.

TiCN coating allows aluminum surfaces to slide on top of each other with less friction. In addition, the lubrication provided by TiCN coating allows for more speeds than non-coated versions.

D. Supports less chemical reactivity

The anti-seizure property of TiCN prevents material from depositing on the aluminum tool due to less chemical reactivity between the tool and the cutting material.

Non-ferrous materials such as Aluminum and brass are prone to greater Built-Up Edges, leading to chipping of the tools or over-seizure of the part.

Once the material starts building up on the tool, it starts to attract, and it is commonly known that aluminum deposits grow substantially over time.

TiCN coating provides anti-seizure properties that prevent this Build-Up from occurring.

Disadvantages of Using TiCN coating

Although TiCN coating is a good choice for coating non-ferrous tool material such as Aluminum, there are still some disadvantages of using this coating for aluminum surfaces:

A. Toughness decreases over time

The toughness of TiCN coating on Aluminum decreases after a few years. This implies that the TiCN-coated aluminum tools are unsuitable for rough machine work under heavy loads.

B. TiCN coating peels off.

It is a commonly known fact that coated tools tend to peel or chip off when cutting at low speeds, which means they are not suitable for low-speed cutting aluminum tools.

C. Not suitable for high-hardness material

TiCN coating is unsuitable for processing high-hardness materials like steel with a hardness of more than 300HB or chilled cast iron, which has hard inclusions.

D. Not ideal for tools with hard skin

TiCN coating is not suitable for coating tools with a hard skin surface. Tools used for deep hole drilling, cutting, threading, and cutting processing where chips are difficult to discharge should not be coated with TiCN coating.


TICN or Titanium CarboNitride coating is a good choice for coating cutting tools and surfaces because of its high hardness, durability, and longevity.

But is TiCN coating good for aluminum? The answer is yes, TiCN coating is a good choice for coating aluminum tools and materials as it delivers greater durability, longevity, and coating benefits to aluminum tools.