Both techniques have their own unique advantages to them that offer the user numerous benefits.
In the jewelry business, there are several different processes and techniques used to achieve a gold look. Now, aside from the fake products, two of the more common ways to achieve this appearance are through gold PVD coating and gold plating. Sure, they sound like they’re essentially the same process, but each has their own unique advantages that adapt to certain situations. So, what differentiates the two from each other?
Physical vapor deposition, otherwise known as PVD, is a process that occurs within vacuum deposition systems that produce a decorative and functionally beautiful finish. PVD typically utilizes titanium nitride to provide a tough, durable coating layer on top of a substrate. PVD coatings tend to be more resistant to corrosion, moisture, and the other wear and tear features that watch users undergo.
Gold plating, on the other hand, occurs when a piece of real gold is plated onto another type of metal – say, stainless steel for example. This process is often done as a cost-efficient way to achieve the look of real good. One advantage that gold plating has is that it gives the product the look of actual gold. It’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye and can be used on a variety of products. And, without having to pay thousands more to obtain a thin film vacuum coating, you can save a substantial amount of money. However, gold plating doesn’t have the same durability and resistance that PVD coating offers, leaving its security at the whim of the user.
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The trophies and medals hanging from your walls have that distinct shine thanks to PVD coating.
The process of vacuum metallization is essentially a form of physical vapor deposition. The process requires the combination of both non-metals and metals to evaporate and then deposit into a thin film. The most common metal used in vacuum metallization is aluminum because of its’ thermodynamic and reflective properties.
Vacuum metalizing gives off a highly reflective surface that’s similar to chrome. Also, when using aluminum, its low cost enables there to be an increase in production. This process also can be tinted for various colors such as: brass, copper, gold, blue, green, and black chrome.
Vacuum Metallization in Plastic Parts
Visually, if you were to coat a piece of plastic with metal, you wouldn’t expect there to be an increase in both gloss and reflectivity.
Through vacuum metallization, metallic properties such as abrasion resistance and electrical conductivity can also be added to plastic components. Upon completion of metallization, these now-metalized components are treated in the same light as metal plated parts. Although they carry the properties of metals, they tend to be lower in weight and have a high corrosion resistance as well. In addition, the electrical conductivity that now encompasses the plastic part can be controlled to avoid electrical surges.
Physical vapor deposition coating, or PVD coating, can be found in a variety of household items that are commonly found. Products such as: lamp reflectors, emblems, trophies, fishing lures, and advertising display items are only some of the products that are vacuum metalized. The immense amount of gloss and shine are what makes this method stand out.
When you need a thin film of materials, the process can be surprisingly difficult depending on what you want to manufacture. For instance, if you wanted to coat a plastic screw in metals. You couldn’t melt the metal and apply it to the screw, you’d need another method to bond the metal to the plastic. A thin film vacuum coating would allow you to bond the two materials under specific temperatures. There are other advantages to using this technique too.
One of the biggest advantages to using a system that applies thin film vacuum coating is the ability to control temperature. In the example above, the screw is common for lots of items. Optic lenses, like the kind used in cars or eye glasses, might melt or crack under the extreme temperatures it would take to break the chemicals down into gas. Melting and pouring the material over the glass will leave a coating that is thick and uneven, plus the drying process may create imperfections.
The vacuum chamber allows the molecules to come to rest on the substrate in an even finish, which frees the surface from physical defects like bumps or bubbles. This is especially important anodizing metal, where the smoothness of the finish is part of the selling point. The finish can also make a difference when it comes to thickness. Thin film means microns in thickness, which requires precision and isn’t something you can fib. Imagine what would happen if a metalized screw were too thick. An entire schematic might be missing a crucial component thanks to a bad finish.
Thanks to thin film vacuum coatings, we can produce powerful semiconductors for a lower cost.
Semiconductors rely on conductive material to transfer electricity from one part of a computer to another. This process is constantly at work as you type behind your desk or even when you microwave your lunch for the day. Here is how thin film coatings help manufacturers build more powerful computers and electronics.
Thin Film Vacuum Coating
In order to create the parts needed inside of computers, manufacturers must make specific alterations to the materials they work with. This is how semiconductors conduct electricity. The circuit board isn’t built to naturally conduct electricity, so a thin film vacuum coating is used to cover the board in materials that conduct electricity.
This technique can also metalize parts, which helps to drive down the costs of manufacturing. Small parts, like screws, can be built of plastic and then metalized.
Systems and Applications
The most obvious example of a sputter coater at work is the semiconductor, but it’s not the only one. The process is used in the guidance systems that power rockets headed to space. It’s also in the parts that help those rockets fly. Batteries can also use this technology for highly specialized activities. You will also see this technology at play in the medical sector, where it is used to coat devices that will be used in patients.
Thin film coatings are crucial to the development of computers, but the process finds applications elsewhere in manufacturing projects.
Related Story: What is Sputtering?
Denton Vacuum, LLC sells vacuum deposition systems that are helpful in the manufacture of electronics and optics. Find out more about the advanced manufacturing techniques of these devices with Denton Vacuum, LLC online.
Weather balloons used to be science experiments reserved for those with the money to do the research. New technology has not only made the balloon cheaper, but the technology to capture images and data has also lowered in price. Here is the lowdown on how you launch a weather balloon into the stratosphere to collect data.
You will need an arm to hold the payload that you intend to attach to your high altitude weather balloon, but there are some weight considerations to take into account. In the US, you are restricted to a payload that does not exceed 12 pounds. That twelve pounds must be distributed across the box your payload is housed within, the data logger your payload uses to capture data, and any other attachments you decide to add.
Begin in a flat and wide-open space, with all of the components of your balloon kit spread out on a table. Assemble your payload, securing the weather balloon camera to the arm where it can get a good view as it ascends. Also keep in mind that the size of your balloon will affect the volume of gas it will hold, so larger balloons are likely to travel a longer distance and reach a greater height.
The site that you choose should be free from objects that will impede your flight path. Power lines, trees and other obstructions can cause your balloon to catch on its flight path, stopping the journey entirely. Also be sure that you launch on a clear day with low wind speeds. Follow the flight path of your balloon carefully with your GPS unit, and be prepared to make a trek to retrieve the payload.
Guest post provided by Denton Vacuum, LLC. Denton Vacuum manufactures machines that employ precision methods like ion beam deposition practical applications such as electron microscopy. Visit www.dentonvacuum.com for more information.
Applications for vacuum coating systems are vitally useful for the electron microscope. Scientists studying sensitive specimens need optics that do not interfere with how the specimen behaves for better controls of the experiment. Electron microscopes use a beam of electrons to create a visible image of the specimen that scientists can then analyze. Electron microscopes have an intensely higher resolution and power than light microscopes, and give scientists the ability to do much more detailed research studies. Conductive coatings provided by ion beams allow prevention of tainting the specimen with a charging of the sample by conducting heat away from it.
There are different types of machines that can produce the coating need for these functions. Among these machines are Sputter coaters, vacuum evaporators, electron beam evaporators, and ion beam sputtering systems. The process is straightforward and intriguing. First, the coating substance is placed with the source material inside a vacuum chamber inside the ion beam sputtering system. Afterwards, with the pressure low, an inert gas is introduced. A Radio frequency strikes the gas, causing it to become ionized. The vaporized gas condenses on the surface of the target in the form of a diamond-like film. This film protects specimens scientists are observing from heat and ionization that can result from the use of a light microscope.
Thin, continuous, and uniform deposition of the coating material is absolutely vital for sensitive samples or samples that are prone to charging. These sensitive samples can range from anything including carbon black powder, immunogold and softwood fibers. Scientists who utilize electron microscope technology need a superior amount of precision offered by quality ion beam deposition systems.
Are you in the market for a precision optics coating platform? Does your company need a system that can be used for electron beam evaporation, resistance evaporation, or ion assisted deposition? Introducing Integrity by Denton Vacuum. How do you know whether this is the right platform for your needs? Here’s a brief look at Integrity and what it can do for you.
Designed by Denton Vacuum — leading distributer of production scale thin film technology systems and vacuum deposition systems – Integrity is a high volume batch production evaporation system created for optical coating, semiconductor, and compound semiconductor applications.
Integrity can be used by businesses in a wide range of industries, including optics, medical, semiconductor, aerospace, and emerging technologies. When it comes to applications, companies can utilize Integrity to perform a broad range of applications, from astronomical and military optics to groundplane coatings for semiconductors. It can also be used for active CIGS layers, medical components, indium deposition for focal plane array assembly, and hi/lo and narrow bandpass filters.
While it does not have a sputter coater system, Integrity offers a host of impressive features and capabilities, including e-beam evaporation, thermal evaporation, ion beam assisted deposition, and an integrated optical monitor for multi-layer engineered films. It features multiple chamber sizes and can handle production scale wafe and optics. It comes with a complete line of planetary fixtures and a fully automated process control system.
When it comes to thin-film technology breakthroughs and PVD coating equipment, Denton Vacuum has the solution you’re searching for. To learn more about their products and services, please visit www.dentonvacuum.com.
Vacuum Coating Systems are being developed in all different shapes and sizes. These range from desktop machines to multi-chamber production systems. The products being developed by today’s quality engineers are absolutely unmatched.
Engineering breakthroughs are helping emerging technologies appear ready for consumers on a daily basis. When you think about emerging technologies there are so many different areas that you can point to. Think about the United States for example, who is trying to make a serious move to come up with different fuel sources for cars, homes, and so on. The fact of the matter is that without engineering and the advancements they are coming up with, none of this new technology would be possible. Engineering advancements in emerging technologies could help us become far less dependent on oil in the decades to come. This can help bring down gas prices, create new jobs in countries who have fallen behind in terms of job growth over the years, and help new economies flourish. The fact of the matter is that with the help of engineering in emerging technologies you can be sure that the global economy will grow over time.
Medical device coatings with a quality Sputter deposition system are going to allow you to create uniform, high-quality products at will. Companies such as Denton Vacuum, LLC are leading the way in this field and continue to do so. They are paving the way for mass production of medical devices with technological advancements the world has never seen before.