PVD coated furniture and electroplated items have been found immensely in our lives. Even when you look around your home, you can see a lot of products which are a result of these two processes. There has been a constant battle to choose which process is more ideal to get the job done of home décor. The answer is – Both have their own places and are ideal for specific duties. Today this blog will talk about the differences between both processes so that you decide which procedure should be opted by you to get your job done.
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Electroplating is a procedure that has been a key player in the market for many years. Its 2021 and society is vigilant about the environmental hazards too. Business houses need to match shoulder with the constant evolution that takes place due to technology improvements. Some processes though, are still run on the old traditional practices. One of them is electroplating. In recent times PVD coating or PVD coated sheets have been considered a better solution because these can save a lot of time.
Electroplating technology is a low energy form of plating. Because it is a low energy electrochemical process, ions get attracted to the substrate with a slower speed and energy and get collected on the surface. Irregular lumps at the edge are common and uncontrollable in this process. The part geometry can also have a disadvantage for the deposit's uniformity. Channels and crevices are nearly impossible to electroplate without receiving lumps on the outer edges.
PVD coating is a vacuum deposition process that has been extensively used in the near past and present. It no longer looks like a laboratory process. It has been scaled up to handle large complex part geometries at very economic prices. A lot of brands have agreed to the advantages of upgrading their product from electroplating to PVD coating or PVD coated sheets. Coatings can be deposited from room temperature to as high as 500 degrees Celsius depending on the substrate and the application.
The PVD process gives a more smooth film, upgraded adhesion up to six times greater in some cases, a wider choice of materials to be deposited and there are no toxins involved to dispose of. Because PVD coating is not very dangerous to the surroundings and chemical disposal costs are minimal, the price of PVD coating sheets and electroplating is very close to some products.
When a product is PVD coated it is put in a stern position and placed in the vacuum vessel. The unit is pumped down to the desired vacuum pressure. Depending on the substrate and the process used the product will be preheated and sputter cleaned. After the sputter cleaning is finished, a negative charge is applied to the cathode material and, if the substrate is conductive, a negative bias is applied to the substrate. The material being deposited arrives at the substrate at a high energy level and will travel along the substrate surface until it reaches a preferred nucleation site. The constant application of ions from the source sputters the depositing material so you do can be sure about a smooth finish.
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