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topic 43061

Advantages of PVD Coating over Electroplating


A discussion started in 2006 but continuing through 2019

2006

Q. Hello ,
I want to know what are the advantages of coating tools by Plasma Vacuum Deposition process over coating by Electroplating.

K.Murthy
student - Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India


2006

A. Hi, Murthy. Some materials can be applied by PVD but not by electroplating, including some very hard and wear resistant coatings. Plus there is usually a reduced potential for release of a toxic material to the environment from PVD compared to electroplating. You did not ask for the advantages of electroplating compared to PVD, and your teacher may grade your homework poorly if you leave it at that :-) Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



January 7, 2011

Q. Watch makers are increasingly using PVD on watch cases and movements. While we might presume that it creates a more durable finish, interested to know if it's nothing more than marketing puff.

Dave Carter
- Boston, Massachusetts, USA


January 7, 2011

A. Hi, Dave

Watchcases are very small high production items that happen to play well to the advantages of being applied by PVD. From the consumer's standpoint it may be of little importance how a coating was applied, but if a particular coating is ideal for an application, and that coating can only be applied by PVD, that would dictate the use of PVD.

Here is an example: gold is a beautiful precious metal that has long been electroplated onto watches, but it is often applied very thin because of its cost, and then it can wear away, especially off of exposed high points as shown:

worngold

Titanium nitride, the goldish-color hard coating you see on drill bits, is applied by PVD. If the watch maker had applied titanium nitride followed by gold electroplating, those exposed high points would have remained quite gold-ish looking even after the gold has worn off, instead of the unacceptable contrast of becoming nickel colored as shown.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



Disadvantages of PVD compared to electroplating

July 1, 2014

Q. Hello,

Sorry to bring back this old post, but what are the disadvantages of PVD coating then?

Also Ted, in your previous answer, do you mean that the best way would be to have a titanium nitride PVD under coat, and then a thick layer of electroplated gold? Two successive processes?

Lastly, does anyone know if there are small, affordable/accessible PVD coating units? Or if it's all huge units?

Thank you

seb Guy
- Seoul South Korea


June 2014

A. Hi Seb. Capital cost can be one of the serious disadvantages of PVD coating; a jeweler can do gold electroplating in a teacup in a pinch but will certainly not have the space and money to install PVD equipment. Electroplating and electroless plating can cover recessed area not reachable by PVD processes. Much thicker coatings are usually available from electroplating. Electroplating is generally easier to mask for selective plating. Electroplating can be done in-situ (brush plating).

There are some processes that can't be done by PVD, some that can't be done by electroplating, some that require both in sequence, and some that are close to a toss-up.

Although hobbyists often make vacuum chambers, I'm not personally aware of small and affordable PVD units.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


July 1, 2014

thumbs up signThank you for your reply Ted

Having had no proper answer from the plating unit providers I contacted, I am going to go and see a few PVD service providers.

If I could have access to that technology despite my low volumes I would go for it, since in my opinion customers want durability above all else, even if it's titanium nitride.

Cheers

seb Guy [returning]
- Seoul South Korea



Zinc PVD vs. electroplating for metal tank corrosion protection

July 24, 2015

Q. Hello,

Can we replace galvanized electroplated tanks with zinc PVD coated tanks for corrosion protection?

And if yes what will PVD coated tank more durable than galvanized tank?

So much thanks,

Ahmed yaser
- Cairo, Egypt


July 2015

A. Hi Ahmed. I was not aware that zinc could be deposited by PVD, but I am not a PVD expert.

You have not described anything about your tanks, so I don't know what deposition techniques are possible and what isn't. What are the tanks for, and what is their shape, and are you coating the inside or outside, and what environment will they see? Please don't use the words electroplating and galvanizing interchangeably because they are very different processes. The corrosion resistance of zinc coated steel objects is roughy proportional to the thickness of the zinc coating. How thick a coating do you want to apply?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


simultaneous July 28, 2015

A. Zinc is not a good candidate metal for PVD. For the most part, those of us in the business do everything we can to keep zinc out of our chambers. It has a very high vapor pressure, making it extremely hard to draw and maintain the high vacuum needed for the process.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
PVD Consultant - San Diego, California


July 28, 2015

A. There is no reason why zinc can not be deposited by PVD techniques. It should be pretty easy. But zinc would contaminate the coating chamber and you may not be able to use it for anything else. Ahmed has not responded to Ted's questions. The basic question is 'why do you want deposit zinc by PVD when simpler techniques are available?'

H.R. Prabhkara
Bangalore Plasmatek - Bangalore, Karnataka, India


July 29, 2015

Q. Dear Ted ,

Many thanks for your prompt reply, sorry for this confusion.
I am talking about hot water tanks used mainly in boilers.
I want to assess the efficiency of using PVD coating in coating hot rolled steel to get corrosion resistant durable steel.

Kindly let me clarify that I am not aware of PVD coating and what material could be used in PVD as a coating.

Also I don't know whether the PVD coating could be feasible to use for above application or not.

Kindly it would appreciated if you can guide me where to find answer some answer on PVD coating.

Many thanks in advance for your support,

Regards,

Ahmed Yasser [returning]
- Cairo, Egypt



August 26, 2019

Q. Dear all,
I am writing you from Milan, Italy.

Currently my company is investigating a new electroless technology that might compete against PVD. We are looking to metallize with copper some of the plastics that we internally produce, in the likes of PFA, PEEK etc etc

We would like to understand a bit more the cost structure of PVD in the likes of Capex needed, throughout achievable, variable costs etc.

Thanks in advance for everyone's interest and support.

Flavio

Flavio Benedetti
Solvay - Milan, Italy

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