EDB Coatings Consulting

Practical Problem Solutions in all Areas of PVD Coating Technology

EDB is a consulting firm based in Pittsburgh (PA). We offer expertise in coatings deposited by physical vapor deposition (PVD) techniques and can help you to improve the quality of your coatings, lower the cost of production, and therefore to increase your revenue. EDB has unique expertise in five areas:

Plasma Assisted Deposition Processes
Failure Investigation
New Materials
Engineering Training
Expert Witness



EDB is knowledgeable about all aspects of coating processes and has experience transferring Laboratory-developed technologies into a production environment. EDB has expert knowledge on the optimum choice of coating methods, with particular emphasis on ion-assisted deposition techniques like magnetron sputtering, ion-beam assisted deposition, ion-plating, and other reactive evaporation processes.
A wide array of diagnostic tools is available to EDB for use in coatings development and characterization. Langmir plasma probes are employed for testing and adjusting the plasma parameters. Atomic force, scanning tunnel, and electron microscopy (AFM, STM, and SEM) are used to look at and measure surface topography. Probing techniques, such as Auger and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), are used to determine bulk properties.


We have unique experience in investigating coatings failure. When coatings experience a failure, we begin our investigation by gathering technical information on the product and coating and obtain a comprehensive failure history. We then take a holistic and comprehensive approach to investigating the problem, including a macro-level analysis. Our methodology allows us to streamline the failure investigation and eliminate many of the possible causes of failure. This allows us to focus on the key remaining areas for a more detailed micro-level analysis. This analysis often includes the use of sophisticated techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Other techniques are related to tribological properties such as adhesion tests, micro and nano-indentations, and pin-on-disk measurements.
Once the problem is identified, we focus our energies on delivering innovative solutions for our customers' tribological problems. This often means borrowing a technical solution well known in one industry and transferring the technology to a new application where it hadn't previously been utilized. In addition, we will also frequently identify solutions found in materials technology emerging from universities and national laboratories.
EDB has expertise in the following categories of failure: abrasion, adhesion, fatigue, fretting, friction, lubrication, pitting, scoring, scuffing, seizure, vibration, and wear.


The engineering team for many industrial businesses often lacks the time or expertise to focus on new materials technology. With all the new materials coatings and surface treatments available and developed each year, it is usually a full-time job to stay current with the latest in wear-resistant materials and technologies. When you work with EDB,

* You benefit from objective, unbiased information concerning the best technology for your application.

* We can share the latest technological innovations and explain how they can be leveraged by your company.

* You receive an independent technical perspective on the available vendor options.

EDB’s unique expertise can be applied in many areas of materials technology, product development and manufacturing systems, like aerospace, automotive, biomaterials, defense, electronics, semiconductors, and tools.

EDB specializes in:
Nitrides: TiN, TiCN, CrN, TiAlN, CrAlTiN, TaN.
DLC (diamond-like carbon), CNX (carbon nitride), CBN, BN, TiC, CrC, TiCN, WC/C, DLC/Si, CFXHY (carbon fluorides, Teflon-like™ coatings)
Oxides: Al2O3, AlOX, SiOX.
Solid lubricants: MoS2, MoS2TiX, a-C, Ag, Au, Al/Sn.


We have distilled our extensive experience of thin film technology and tribology into practical training courses. These may be run as open courses for engineers from several companies, or may be specifically tailored courses for use in-house at individual companies. Many of these in-house courses have been given overseas to leading international companies. Training courses may run for one/two days, or can be more extensive on a modular basis.


We can act as expert witnesses for litigation purposes. Cases range from patent infringements to litigation concerning project disputes between companies. Our considerable experience in the field of failure investigation is invaluable for this work.
We act in a completely impartial way during the investigations, and we are able to provide evidence as well as testimony that defend our findings in court.


EDB offers virtually instant response to organizations that require rapid solutions to their tribological problems. We are proud of the comments we receive from clients regarding our unique responsiveness.

EDB provides practical and relevant solutions to coating failures.

Complete Solutions
’s approach focuses in identifying the cause of coating failure rather than just the symptoms.

EDB provides impartial advice and has no ties to manufacturing companies. Most of EDB’s clients are organizations that seek the most effective un-biased solution to their problems.

EDB’s conclusions can be accepted by companies, courts of law and governments. EDB can act as Expert Witness in legal cases.

EDB will work on or off site – or at your offices as required.

For further information, contact:
Dr. Esteban D. Broitman
Phone: (412) 268-9537
Fax: (412) 268-7139