To understand the benefits of low temperature arc vapor deposition (LTAVD), it’s important to know some definitions. Let’s start with the difference between “wet” and “dry” methods of plating.
Electroplating is an electromagnetic process. A thin layer of metal is applied to the product using chemicals, therefore it is a “wet” process. When we talk about “dry” techniques in the plating industry, we are referring to the lack of chemicals to coat using metal. The LTVAD method is a physical vapor deposition process, and since it takes place in a vacuum using no chemicals, it is considered a “dry” method.
Because of the lack of chemicals, and the fact that the process is achieved using lower temperatures, it is considered a safer and more environmentally-friendly plating process.
Low Temperature Arc Vapor Deposition
Low temperature arc vapor deposition takes place within a vacuum chamber. A low voltage within the chamber generates a high-current arc. Because it is in a vacuum, low voltage is achievable to generate the arc. For reference, atmospheric processes require hundreds of volts.
A cathode in the center of the vacuum holds the metallic material used to coat the product. Once the arc passes over the cathode, it sublimes it into a plasma by inert and reactive gasses. The plasma then covers the product as it rotates around the center of the vacuum.
Low temperature arc vapor deposition can deposit thick coatings of metallic material onto an object at temperatures as low as 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Materials Used for Low Temperature Arc Vapor Deposition
Nearly any kind of metal, alloy, ceramics, or intermetals can be plated onto a substrate, like plastic, using LATVD. Plating is necessary for aesthetic reasons, to improve and enhance performance, or fix issues such as corrosion, denting, or general wear and tear. Since the LTAVD process is performed at room temperatures and on complicated shapes, such as piping, LTAVD is often used in a commercial setting.
LTVAD | Bend Plating
Here at Bend Plating we often apply metal coating using the LTAVD process. Whatever your metal plating needs, our knowledgeable staff can accommodate by using the equipment we have in-house. Give us a call, and we can talk about your unique plating project by utilizing low temperature arc vapor deposition.