Vapor Tech's Coating Processes Define Industry Standards
LTAVD coatings form an extremely strong bond with the substrate onto which they are deposited. The coating process takes place in a high vacuum environment within a stainless steel vacuum chamber. A target rod (source) is utilized which may be composed of one of a variety of materials to be deposited. Materials such as Zirconium, Titanium or Chromium are commonly used because of their desirable performance and appearance characteristics.
The LTAVD platform is unique to the coating and finishing industry. An important distinction of LTAVD is the configuration of the center-mounted source inside the vacuum chamber. An arc is initiated on the target (see illustration above). The arc then travels up and down its conductive material. In the center-mount configuration, the distance between source and substrate is significantly greater than in wall-mounted coating systems. This allows precise control of temperature for heat-sensitive substrates common in today's consumer and industrial products. The increased distance between source and the substrate also allows large surface areas to be coated in a single batch.
During deposition, the LTAVD source emits high energy atoms and ions that accelerate toward the electrically biased substrates. These parts are mounted to fixtures that rotate in planetary motion around the target resulting in uniform coating composition and thickness. During the deposition process, reactive gases can be introduced to form nitride, oxide or carbide compounds intended for the end application. The resulting coatings are characteristically thin, hard and durable.
The LTAVD coating process provides several key benefits:
- Low-temperature deposition
- Large area deposition
- Wide variety of materials (e.g. zirconium, titanium, chromium)
- Reacted compound formation such as nitrides, oxides and carbides
- Durable and protective coatings
- Uniformity across the entire deposition zone
- Greater than 80% target utilization (over 2X better than planar sources)
- Environmentally friendly