Tempered Coatings

Enhancing Durability and Performance: The Advantages and Applications of Tempered Coatings


Tempered coatings have become increasingly popular for providing protection and improving the durability of various materials and surfaces. Developed originally for glass products, tempered coatings offer a unique set of functional advantages that make them well-suited for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications.

What are Tempered Coatings?

Tempered coatings refer to thin films or layers that are deposited or bonded onto a substrate material through specialized heating and cooling processes. During manufacturing, the coating and substrate materials are rapidly heated and then cooled in a carefully controlled manner. This causes compressive stresses to build up uniformly within the coating and at its interface with the substrate. As a result, the coating achieves enhanced mechanical strength and fracture resistance compared to non-tempered alternatives.

Common tempering techniques involve either chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or physical vapor deposition (PVD). In CVD, reactive gases are used to produce a thin solid film on the heated substrate surface through a chemical reaction. With PVD, materials are evaporated or sputtered from a target source and deposited onto the substrate as an atomic layer. Tempering occurs afterwards through rapid thermal processing. Properly executed, this confers compressive residual stresses to effectively pre-load the coating.

Benefits of Tempered Coatings

By design, Tempered Coatings exhibit various performance advantages stemming from their compressive pre-stress state:

Hardness and Abrasion Resistance

– The compressive stresses impart tremendous hardness to tempered coatings, enabling them to withstand abrasion, scratching, and wear better than untreated surfaces. Hardness levels can rival some of the hardest engineering materials.

Toughness and Crack Resistance

– Tempering introduces micro-defects that obstruct crack propagation, improving the coating’s toughness and making it highly resistant to fracturing from impact or flexural stresses.

Corrosion Protection

– Compressive stresses closing pores and defects make tempered coatings excellent barriers against corrosion penetration from chemicals and weathering. Their durability often far surpasses conventional coatings.

Optical Strength

– For glass and optical applications, tempering lends shatter-resistant and impact-absorbing properties that prevent breakage into sharp, dagger-like fragments. It enhances safety.

Applications in Industry

Given their unique attributes, tempered coatings have found widespread use in various industrial sectors:


– Automotive and aircraft transparencies like windshields and canopy windows rely on tempered coatings for added strength and safety under impact and stone chips.

Building and Construction

– Architectural glass facades and glass doors/windows use tempering for robustness against impact and thermal stresses from expansion/contraction.

Consumer Electronics

– Hardened tempered coatings on touchscreens and device covers deliver reliable protection against scratches and cracks from everyday wear.

Optics and Medical Equipment

– Optical lenses, mirrors, endoscopy cameras etc. need high performance coatings to withstand cleaning/sterilization and resist scratches.

Tools and Machinery

– Metal components subjected to abrasive environments leverage the superb hardness and wear resistance of tempered coatings for extended service lifetimes.

Emerging Applications

While established in several industries for decades, newer applications of tempered coatings continue to emerge as technologies advance:

Renewable Energy

– Wind turbine blades require durable protective coatings to withstand abrasive coastal/desert environments and prevent erosion over decades of use.

Aviation & Aerospace

– Rocket engine nozzles, jet blade tips etc. are engineered with ultra-high temperature coatings for reliable performance under extreme conditions.


– Low friction, scratch/wear-resistant coatings enable next-gen smartphones, consumer electronics and AR/VR headsets with seamless form factors.

As manufacturing processes improve and new material systems are developed, tempered coatings will likely continue expanding into novel applications across diverse industries. Their unique mix of mechanical strength, toughness and environmental stability provides compelling advantages over traditional coating technologies. Advanced tempered coatings thus remain an area of active research, promising significant technological and economic benefits.

1.  Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it