In the late ’90s, polished brass finishes were all the rage in home decor–from door hardware to plumbing fixtures and everything in-between. Once engineers discovered that zirconium nitride (ZrN) can imitate natural brass, the floodgates were opened. Next came a rush to introduce finishes with lifetime durability guarantees. As with all decorative trends, times change, and soon, metallic finishes like stainless steel and nickel replaced brass as the dominant finish and, more recently, bronzes, rose golds, and blacks. Fortunately, zirconium is the chameleon metal that can respond to these evolving trends.
Differences in applications like the type of substrate, mechanical loading, environment (presence of a lubricant, air, vacuum), and counterpart material led to the development of DLC “variants.” These variants include undoped hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H ) and hydrogen-free tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C), to metal-doped (a-C:H:Me) and non-metal doped (a-C:H:X) DLC coatings.
Titanium Nitride (TiN) coating is one of the most well-known physical vapor deposition (PVD) choices and has been a mainstay of product finishing for decades. Customers like TiN because of its good mechanical properties and lustrous gold color. The combination of a non-metallic element (Nitrogen) with a transition metal element (Titanium) forms a refractory (resistant to alteration) material. The material exhibits many attributes associated with refractory nitride materials.
This new video is a brief overview highlighting key members of your VaporTech team as well as the facility itself and our line of PVD coating systems. Your tour begins in the lobby and moves to the conference room, where we start with a brief meeting with company execs before embarking on our (virtual) facility tour to see the engineering department, R&D, our manufacturing floor, and our systems.
Are Any Everyday Products Thin-Film-Coated? Common PVD Applications Include Faucets, Auto Parts, Tools
Thin-film deposition technologies, like physical vapor deposition (PVD) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD), are most commonly known for their use in the production of microelectronics and sensors. We are far less familiar with applying these technologies for more common everyday products t, though manufacturers have been using them since as far back as the 1930s.
Manufacturers have known for decades about the benefits of in-house PVD coating: time savings, quality control, and customized thin film coatings that differentiate products by improving function and appearance. However, in the past, the capital investment was too high for lower-volume operations, the machines were too large or complex to integrate into existing manufacturing facilities, and industry perception was that these machines required highly trained specialists to operate and maintain.