Category : PVD materials

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Physical Vapor Deposition: 6 Essential Questions

What is PVD?

PVD or physical vapor deposition is a vaporization technique that involves a transfer of material on an atomic level. Similar to chemical vapor deposition or CVD, the process is considered an alternative to electroplating. PVD is process that goes through the following 4 stages: evaporation, transportation, reaction, and deposition.

What are PVD materials?

PVD materials refer to a slew of metals that can be used to create thin films and coatings on various surfaces. There are a number of advantages to choosing this deposition technique over others.

Pros of PVD Coatings:

  • Durability. PVD coatings are hardier and have a greater resistance to corrosion than other coatings. Therefore, if you want a coating that will last, it is a great choice to consider.
  • Heat-Resistant. While a number of coatings can also resist high temperatures, PVD coatings are sturdy enough to ensure that high temperatures won’t damage the surface of the material and compromise it.
  • Versatile. You don’t have to limit your choice to only few inorganic materials. The PVD coating process works on almost any kind of inorganic and organic material.
  • Eco-Friendly. PVD is a much better choice than electroplating or painting since it’s more environmentally-friendly.

Cons of PVD Coatings:

  • Technique. Line of sight (LOS) techniques make it more difficult for to coat the undercuts of the material as well as other similar features of the surface.
  • Cost. This technology doesn’t come cheap. You’ll have to invest a good chunk of capital before you have the materials in place. However, the results are worth every penny once you see the quality of the finished materials.
  • Requires Skilled Operators. PVD typically mean processes that require tremendously high temperature settings. This means operators must be skilled and trained to be fully on their guard. A single misstep could land them in a whole lot of trouble.

Common Applications for PVD Coatings

Since PVD coatings are known to enhance the oxidation resistance of a surface, it’s often used in a number of different applications. Some common applications include: automotive, cutting tools, fire arms, dies and molds for processing materials, and aerospace.

Where to shop for PVD materials and coatings?

Look for reliable PVD manufacturers that provide quality PVD coatings, like ACI Alloys. With over 30 years of industry experience, you’re always in good hands.

PVD Materials And Medical Devices

Application of physical vacuum deposition (PVD) technology has increased substantially over the past two decades. It has recently achieved the level of the second most popular process of coating various components. Initially, this combination of environmentally friendly and precise material coating became the favorite of various sectors of the manufacturing sector. Tool manufacturers and the electronics industry became two industries that sought out PVD materials for coating their components.

Recently, another industrial concern has begun to use PVD coatings for their products. While the medical industry originally flirted with PVD process in the 1980s, the limitations of the materials and technology at the time, was not conducive to growth in its application in this field. Today, however, the PVD process is becoming widely accepted as a means of providing various medical instruments and devices with the qualities they need.

What Medical Devices Use PVD Technology?

PVD is often used to provide a thin film coating on a variety of medical devices and instruments. Among those that use this process:

  • Catheters
  • Dental Instruments
  • Digital Thermometers
  • 38 Endoscopes Heart Valves
  • Laboratory Equipment
  • Orthodontic Appliances
  • Orthopedic Implants
  • Pacemakers
  • Prostheses
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Tubing

They rely on PVD materials to supply the qualities the instruments require when functioning in their specific environment.

Why Employ PVD?

Companies select PVD technology over others for several reasons. They turn to it mainly because it has the capability to alter the surface of the substrate metal comprising the component. It modifies it, enabling it to perform its medical functions. The PVD coating will vary to address the existing qualities of the substrate as well as to enhance or attribute desirable properties. Among the reasons for medical instruments to receive a layer of PVD material are the following:

  • Increased Adhesion
  • Bonding
  • Lubricity
  • Infection Prevention
  • Increased Hardness
  • Protection from Corrosion
  • EMI/RFI (Electromagnetic and Radio frequency shielding)
  • Wear Resistance

These are very desirable properties. A coating company must ensure when applying the material it is biocompatible. In many instances, the PVD coating most commonly employed to achieve this is titanium nitride (TiN). Other options currently used in the medical instrument sector are:

  • Aluminum Titanium Nitride (AlTiN)
  • Chromium Nitride(CrN)
  • Titanium Aluminum Nitride(TiAlN)
  • Zirconium Nitride (ZrN)

Such PVD material is capable of addressing specific needs and providing coatings for substrates comprised of ceramics, metals and polymers.

PVD Materials

At ACI Alloys, we can help you find the right process to thin film coat your component for the medical field. Our professional engineers and technicians are experts in this area. We understand the value of PVD technology and are always ready to help your company explore a new use for PVD materials in bettering the production of medical instrument components and devices.

Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Materials and Their Many Uses

The use of thin PVD materials is a crucial need in an amazing variety of industries. Examples where thin films are used include architectural glass, touch panel displays, solar cells, and architectural glass. Other areas of application include smartphones, bank ATMS, digital photo printers, library information terminals, and car navigation systems. The process used to create these thin layers is known as sputter deposition.

How Sputtering Deposition Works

Sputtering deposition is done in a vacuum chamber. The source used to create the thin material is a called a sputtering target, and it could be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. Air is continually removed in a vacuum, and argon gas is continually introduced to create a low pressure atmosphere. A magnet array behind target creates a magnetic field, and a high voltage is applied to the target. The arc creates a plasma that concentrates along a magnetic field. Within this magnetic field is plasma, argon atoms, argon ions, and free electrons. The argon ions are then attracted to the sputtering target’s surface and chip off the atoms to create the thin film.

Our Capabilities

At ACI Alloys Inc., we specialize in the creation and production of high purity metals and custom alloys. We have the experience and skills to create affordable, thin material solutions for any need or application. We also have the means to create master alloys and ingots from every metal that exists on the periodic table. Our processes allow us to mill, cut, and grind a vast array of materials, which can be customized to a customer’s needs.

Additional PVD Applications

Additional uses for PVD may include aluminum tracks, ceramic resistors for electronic circuitry, optic coatings, plastic coatings, and coatings to prevent wear for machines and press tools. Thin film applications are extensive and can also be used where anti-fogging, anti-corrosive, stain repellent, non-stick, electrically insulated, low friction, and wear resistant qualities are needed.

PVD materials are amazing elements that affect the daily lives of people in many ways. The process will continue to play a major role in how and why products are created. With the virtual unlimited combination of elements with unique properties, imagining for a whole new world of applications is always possible.