Diamond like carbon (DLC) coated tools have been widely utilized in the dry milling and cutting of aluminum alloy parts and components. Since the DLC film deteriorates during milling operations by reduction of the film thickness or adhesive wear, it must be removed or ashed away before grinding, polishing and recoating not only to preserve high quality of the machined products but also to reduce the production cost. In the present paper, high density oxygen plasma ashing was applied for the complete removal of the used DLC coating together with the chromium interlayers without damaging the tool substrate materials. DLC-coated end-milling tools were prepared to prove that the whole DLC coating could be completely removed at a faster rate than by conventional approaches.
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