Coating Series: Using ZrN Coating

26th Jun 2024

Coating Series: Using ZrN Coating

ZrN coating, short for zirconium nitride coating, is a thin layer of ceramic material applied to various tools and surfaces to enhance their properties. You should consider using a ZrN-coated endmill when you're machining specific materials and want to achieve certain outcomes. Here's a breakdown of the ideal situations for ZrN endmills:


  • Non-ferrous metals: ZrN excels when cutting aluminum alloys, titanium, copper alloys, and brass. These materials tend to be gummy and can stick to uncoated tools. The ZrN coating's smoothness helps chips flow off cleanly and reduces buildup.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Extended tool life: ZrN's hardness significantly increases the lifespan of endmills compared to uncoated options. This translates to fewer tool changes and reduced downtime.
  • Improved surface finish: The lubricity of ZrN coating allows for smoother cutting, resulting in better surface finishes on your workpiece.
  • Reduced friction and heat: ZrN coating minimizes friction during cutting, leading to less heat generation and reduced wear on the endmill.

Additional factors to consider:

  • Machining conditions: While ZrN works well across a range, it's generally recommended for slower to moderate cutting speeds with coolant. High-speed machining might require a different coating.
  • Cost-effectiveness: ZrN-coated endmills have a higher initial cost than uncoated ones. However, the extended tool life often makes them more cost-effective in the long run, especially for high-volume production.

Here are some scenarios where ZrN endmills might not be the best choice:

  • High-speed machining of steel or iron: Other coatings like TiAlN might be more suitable for these applications.
  • Low-volume, non-critical jobs: If you're only doing a small job and surface finish isn't a major concern, an uncoated endmill might be sufficient.

Ultimately, the best way to determine if a ZrN endmill is right for you depends on your specific project requirements and budget. Consult with CGS Tool for more information on this coating or other coating types for your next project.