Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is thin-film deposition? Is it the same thing as PVD coating?
Thin-film deposition is what all VaporTech systems do: Deposit nanometers-thick metal or ceramic coatings to a variety of metal or plastic parts and products. Thin-film coatings are bonded to the substrate at the atomic level. Thin-film coatings are so thin they have no impact on dimensional tolerance and do not mask desired textures in the substrate. They are fade-resistant, consistent, and outperform other coating technologies.
Thin-film deposition is often referred to as “PVD coating,” but in fact, PVD is only one of several processes that are used in thin-film deposition systems. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is another process of applying thin-film coatings. DLC is an extremely durable Diamond-Like Carbon coating type that is created via PE-CVD (plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition) process. Regardless of the type of thin-film coating, the process makes parts and products more functional, durable, and beautiful.
2. Who should use thin-film coatings?
Any manufacturer of metal (or plastic) products can benefit from thin-film deposition for either functional and tribological benefits and/or product durability, aesthetics, and value. Our systems produce superior coatings, harder and more durable as well as appearance-improving, in a wide range of custom metallic materials and colors. Our lower-temperature application offers the ability to coat parts that can’t be exposed to high temperatures, including plastics. Industries we serve include automotive, medical device, home hardware, sports equipment, luxury items, firearms, consumer products, and more.
3. Will my product benefit from thin-film coatings?
Our thin-film deposition systems increase functional performance and offer exceptional hardness as well as scratch and corrosion resistance to improve the function of industrial and commercial parts. We can create the exact coating you need in a wide range of unique metal colors, from true deep black to brilliant blue, to all natural metallic colors and custom-designed variations. VT systems increase your product’s value and streamline your manufacturing process.
4. Which coatings would enhance my product?
Three basic coating types are possible. Pure metal coatings, reacted metal coatings, and diamond-Like carbon (DLC) coatings. Each type has a wide range of applications in industry as well as for durable-decorative products. VaporTech offers its coatings in three categories: VT Decorative™, VT Functional™, and VT Diamond™ (DLC). Our experts partner with you to understand your products and your process to match you with the perfect system and design coatings that meets your exact specifications.
5. Our company is a smaller manufacturer, do your systems scale for different applications?
VaporTech offers multiple systems so you’re only investing in exactly what you need. Each system can use several different processes to meet specific coating needs. Coatings are customized to meet your exact needs. Our systems support multiple coating types, materials, and recipes, rapid conversion to other programs, and meeting both large and small production run requirements.
6. Is it hard to integrate coating systems into my operation?
VaporTech guides customers through the process of integrating our systems into their existing manufacturing process easily and effectively. We provide on-site installation and training for your employees. Unlike a plating line, which requires operators with extensive education to maintain plating chemistry, customers do not have to hire specialized personnel to operate VaporTech’s systems. We also offer ongoing maintenance, services, and technical support.
7. Can I coat plastics with VaporTech deposition systems?
VaporTech’s proprietary Low-Temperature Arc Vapor Deposition (LTAVD) is a lower-temperature technology that enables our systems to coat objects, such as plastic parts or products, that would otherwise be damaged or destroyed by high temperatures. LTAVD offers a center-mounted arc source allowing more distance to the substrate being coated. This technology allows you to add value to your products with durability and beautiful metallic finishes.
8. Can thin-film deposition create chrome finishes?
Thin-film deposition is a popular choice for manufacturers that want to give their parts a chrome appearance and avoid the environmental issues associated with chrome electroplating. VaporTech equipment’s efficient, cost-effective processes deposit a chrome finish, providing the desired look and a longer-lasting finish.
9. How does thin-film deposition affect the bottom line?
Thin-film deposition makes your products function and look better for longer, thus increasing their value. In addition, bringing your systems in-house also saves manufacturing time and reduces related costs.
10. Can I create black coatings?
VaporTech has developed a patented True Black™ coating, a deep, dark color that will not fade or discolor. The True Black coating process can be tuned to achieve different shades and tints of black. In addition, our VT Diamond™ (DLC) coatings create the very current polished black and off-black of diamond-like carbon. Our Coating Optimization Program gives you the exact colors your brand needs.
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