Here’s How We Clean a Substrate Before the PVD Process

February 20, 2019
February 20, 2019 Mike Jetter

Here’s How We Clean a Substrate Before the PVD Process

When it comes to long lasting metal finishes, the most critical parameter in the production process is the cleanliness of your parts prior to finishing processes.  Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is no different.  A perfectly clean part free of dirt, oil, and other contaminants will minimize rejects and help ensure optimal adhesion and color conformity.   Here is how we clean a substrate before applying the coating.

Cleaning Before the PVD Process

The substrate, whether it is a metal alloy, plastic or glass, must be free of any oil, dirt, or contaminants to ensure desired finish characteristics.  This can be challenging when the product contains complex geometry (intricate features or depressions) like with jewelry, glasses, or clocks. Air and water trapped in spaces such as spot-welds and joints causes outgassing during the coating process. Foreign gasses in the PVD vacuum chamber will affect color and adhesion.  It is for these reasons that high quality metal finishers invest significant resources in cleaning equipment and skilled cleaning technicians.

There was a time when Chromium Sulphuric Acid (an extremely hazardous substance) was used for industrial cleaning purposes.  Currently, industry advancements have enabled cleaning systems that are much more environmentally-friendly and as “green” as possible. While there are still chemicals in various processes, they are now far safer and free of carcinogens.

Typically, there are three ways to clean a product:

  • with an acidic solution,
  • an organic solvent,
  • and/or an alkaline solution.

Bend Plating

Bend Plating has achieved a high level of success in the PVD market due to the extensive cleaning capabilities present at their Bend, OR facility.   At the center of this cleaning process is their automated washline with ultrasonic soap, ultrasonic acid, a cascading de-ionized rinse, and hot air drying.  Rounding out the resources found in this highly capable cleaning architecture are an overly capable environmental conditioning system, great housekeeping, and clean-committed personnel.   

Bend Plating specializes in the PVD process and takes great care to make sure it’s done correctly. We monitor the cleaning methods closely in order to achieve an optimal coating. A clean surface determines an accurate layer of thin metal free of faults which will also prolong the life of the product. Call us today to discuss your PVD plating project, and we will make sure it is done properly!

Bend Plating specializes in the PVD process and takes great care to make sure it’s done correctly. We monitor the cleaning methods closely in order to achieve an optimal coating. A clean surface determines an accurate layer of thin metal free of faults which will also prolong the life of the product. Call us today to discuss your PVD plating project, and we will make sure it is cleaned properly!

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