PVD Coating (Ion Plating) Technology And Equipment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) -1st

- Jan 19, 2018-

Q1: What is PVD?

A1: PVD is the abbreviation of Physical Vapor Deposition. It refers to a kind of thin films preparation technology that using physical methods to make materials deposit on workpieces under vacuum.

Q2: What is PVD coating? What is a PVD coating machine  

A2: There are 3 main types of PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) technology: vacuum evaporation coating, vacuum sputtering coating and vacuum ion plating. Relative to the three types of PVD technology, the corresponding vacuum coating equipments are vacuum evaporation coating machine, vacuum sputtering coating machine and vacuum ion plating machine. In recent ten years, vacuum ion plating technology is the fastest growing coating technology, it has become one of the most advanced surface treatment methods of modern times. What we usually say PVD coating is refers to vacuum ion plating, and the commonly called PVD coating machine is vacuum ion coating machine.


Q3: What is the specific principle of PVD coating?

A3: The principle of ion plating (PVD coating) technology is adopting arc discharge technology in low voltage and high current, using gas discharge to make targets be evaporated and then ionize the evaporated materials under vacuum, and then make evaporated materials or its reaction product deposit on the workpiece under the action of electric field.


Q4: What is the advantage of PVD coating compared with traditional chemical plating (water plating)?

A4: The similarity of traditional PVD coating and traditional chemical plating is that both of them belong to the category of surface treatment, which means the principle of two methods are all make one material cover on the surface of the other material by a certain way. The difference between two methods are: PVD coating film has better adhesion, higher hardness, better wear resistance and corrosion resistance, as well as more stable performance; PVD coating has a wider range of film type in various beautiful colors; and the PVD coating wont introduce noxious or contaminated material.   

Q5: Can PVD coating replace chemical plating?    

A5: At this stage, PVD coating can not replace chemical plating. Besides, PVD coating can deposit directly on the surface of stainless steel, but for other materials (such as zinc alloy, copper, iron, etc.), chemical plating of Cr (chromium) is needed before PVD coating. PVD coating is mainly used in some high-end hardware products, for those cheaper hardware, the chemical plating is common choices.


Q6: What is the characteristic of PVD coating?    

A6: The film coated by PVD coating technology has the advantages of high hardness, good wear resistance (low coefficient of friction), great corrosion resistance and chemical stability, long service life, etc. Also, the PVD film can significantly improve the appearance of appearance decoration performance of workpiece.


Q7: What kind of substrate can PVD coated on?  

A7: PVD film can be plated directly on stainless steel and cemented carbide, for zinc alloy, copper, iron and other die-castings, chemical plating of Cr (chromium) is needed before PVD coating


Q8: What types of film can be plated by PVD coating technology?   

A8: PVD coating technology is an environment-friendly surface treatment method that can truly achieve micron-level coating without pollution. It can deposit various single metal films (aluminum, titanium, zirconium, chromium, etc.), nitride films (TiN, ZrN, CrN, TiAlN), carbide film (TiC, TiCN) and oxide film such as TiO.


Q9: What is the thickness of PVD coating?    

A9: The thickness of the PVD coating film is on the order of microns, generally 0.1 μm to 5 μm. The thickness of the decorative coating film is generally 0.1 μm to 1 μm, which can ensure the increase of a variety of physical and chemical properties of surface without affecting the original size of the workpiece, the thin film can also maintain the same basic size of the workpiece, besides, the further processing is not needed after plating.


Q10: What colors of PVD coating can be plated?

A10: At present, the available colors on the film including dark golden yellow, light golden yellow, brown, bronze, gray, black, gray black, colorful and so on. By controlling the relevant parameters in the coating process, we can control the color of PVD coatings.  After the coating process, the color value can be measured by the related instrument to quantify the color and determine whether the coating color meets the requirement.