The PVD process is on the cutting edge of metal finishing, creating stunning looks for products using state-of-the-art equipment and methods. Take a look into the PVD process to get a better understanding of how products are metal plated using metal, different gases and pressure. The PVD process is very technical, but interesting on a variety of levels.
The PVD Process
The first part of the PVD process involves cleaning the parts at a molecular level. Parts are brought in chrome plated or raw and then ultrasonically cleaned. Cleaning the parts is essential in the PVD process for a smooth application and flawless finish.
The parts then go into a vacuum sealed chamber where the PVD process takes places. Inside the chamber the parts go through more cleaning before the deposition process. A metal, in many cases zirconium, is centered in the chamber to be applied to the parts. While undergoing the PVD process, the metal reacts with different gases and amounts of pressure to create a physical reaction. The different gases and amount of pressure dictate what color the PVD coating will be. The colored metal is then bombarded onto the part.
After processing, the parts come out of the chamber very hot. Parts that have just undergone the PVD process must then cool down before being packaged up to go.
The PVD process involves a lot of different variables, especially while undergoing the research and development phase for different PVD colors. Currently at Bend Plating, we are working on creating different colors of PVD, which we wrote about last month. Different gases are used in this process to create compounds with different properties. For example, Oxygen is a more chemical resistant gas, which we have been experimenting with to create stronger PVD coatings. It also produces a more whiteish color.
The PVD process is very green. There are no nasty chemicals involved and it is very safe. The PVD process is easy to reproduce and while it is a simple process, developing colors and testing performance are some of the technical aspects we run into.
PVD coating is a highly recommended process. At Bend Plating, we’re working to create more color options that are also chemical and scratch resistant. Contact Bend Plating for more information about PVD coating for your products.