Vapor Plating

Definition - What does Vapor Plating mean?

Vapor plating is a method of vacuum deposition utilized to distribute thin films through the vaporization of the desired film onto different surfaces such as semiconductor wafers.

This process makes use of periodic or concurrent surface bombardment by depositing a thin film produced by atomic particles. Bombardment that occurs before deposition is utilized to sputter the surface of the substrate. During the stage of deposition, bombardment is utilized to take control of the depositing film’s properties. In vapor plating, it is essential that bombardment occurs continuously between deposition and cleaning areas within the process in order to sustain a surface that is atomically clean.

Vapor plating is also known as physical vapor deposition (PVD) or ion assisted deposition (IAD).

Corrosionpedia explains Vapor Plating

Vapor plating can significantly improve wear and oxidation resistance as well as hardness of a material. It is widely used to enhance various products like surgical tools, guns, and automotive parts. It is a suitable alternative to chrome plating in the world of automobiles due to its enhanced durability and lesser weight compared to chrome coating.

Its unique qualities make it advantageous for fuel efficiency and acceleration of vehicles. It is also known for providing enhanced durability and can prolong a product’s lifespan tenfold.

There are different variants of vapor plating, such as:

  • Laser deposition
  • Evaporative deposition
  • Cathodic arc deposition
  • Sputter deposition

Vapor plating is utilized in fabricating items like:

  • Plastic film for snack bags and balloons
  • Semiconductor components
  • Cutting tools

It is also used in coating materials and the most common type of coatings applied through vapor plating include:

  • Chromium nitride
  • Zirconium nitride
  • Titanium aluminum nitride
  • Plain titanium nitride

Vapor plating coatings have higher corrosion resistance capabilities, tougher and applicable through the process of electroplating. These can also be applied on different finishes and are more environmentally friendly than traditional coating processes.

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