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Pvd Coating – A Revolutionary Breakthrough In The Coating Process
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Inventions have been providing us with exemplary benefits since ancient times. Whether it is the electric bulb or the telephone, humans have been using inventions to their advantage and improvising on those inventions continuously to extract more out of them. One such innovative process is vacuum coating which is a fully mechanized procedure implemented for coating materials longitudinally. We can illustrate the working of the process in a few simple steps. They are:
The product to be coated is passed through the application chamber of the coater at a speed of 15m/min. In the chamber, the product enters a template which has the same shape or profile as the product itself. On exiting the chamber, the product has to pass another template with a similar shape and profile known as the exit template.
The next step in vacuum coating includes extraction of paint from the diaphragm pump. During this process the paint which is readily filtered for macro sized particles is delivered to the base of the coater head. The diaphragm pump is low in shear by definition and is maintained at low pressures. The level of the paint in the head keeps elevating till the product to be coated is immersed thoroughly.
Vacuum is introduced in the application chamber and the reservoir. Opening for air can be found only in the coating head which is used to remove excess coating and thus a wet film thickness is ensured. The proportion of the paint removed in vacuum coating is dependent on viscosity of the coating material, template size, product’s linear speed and the vacuum relief valve.
We can credit the plusses of this above stated coating process to its low costs, faster coating and increased transfer efficiency. However, the cons don’t seem to change their stance and thus we can find trivial flaws in this method too. The limits of the process include insufficiency of templates, difficulty in color alteration and confinement of the choice of colors.
This process is varied from vacuum deposition methods since the regulation of vacuum decides the thickness of the coating applied to the product. PVD coating or Physical Vapor deposition is used to deposit films of the desired coating material by condensation on the work surface. This method is used for coating semiconductor wafers. This method’s initial step is vacuum evaporation at high temperatures followed by condensation. Alternate methods also include plasma sputter bombardment. The unique characteristic of this process is the elimination of chemical reactions from the process.
PVD coating has a vast range of applications in various fields such as Automotive, Firearms, Aerospace, Optics and Medical applications. The production of PVD products is environmentally-friendly in comparison to traditional coating methods such as painting or electroplating. Physical Vapor deposition methods allow usage of inorganic as well as organic coating materials on a diverse range of substrates. Out of the many benefits which PVD has to offer, the prominent one is the variation in the techniques used for film deposition. This difference is certainly rare to find in other coating methods.
Dan Hamilton has been involved in the design and manufacture of vacuum technology and equipment. He recommends the name of “Technology & Supply” for the purchase of high-end vacuum coating systems. The company specializes in PVD coating technologies like optical, hardening, protective-decorative, DLC, etc.
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