What Does Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Mean?
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a family of coating processes in which thin films are deposited by the condensation of a vaporized form of the desired film material onto the substrate.
This process is carried out in a vacuum at temperatures between 150 and 500°C. The average thickness of various PVD coatings is 2-5 microns.
Types PVD processes include:
- Cathodic arc deposition
- Electron beam physical vapor deposition
- Evaporative deposition
- Ion plating
- Enhanced sputtering
Corrosionpedia Explains Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)
In the physical vapor deposition process, the high-purity, solid coating material (metals such as titanium, chromium and aluminum) is either evaporated by heat or by bombardment with ions (sputtering). At the same time, a reactive gas (e.g. nitrogen or a gas containing carbon) is introduced; it forms a compound with the metal vapor and is deposited on the substrate as a thin, highly adherent coating. The result is a very strong bond between the coating and the tooling substrate and tailored physical, structural and tribological properties of the film.
Advantages of PVD:
- These coatings are harder and more corrosion resistant than coatings applied by other processes.
- Most coatings have high temperature resistance, good impact strength, excellent coating adhesion, excellent abrasion resistance and are very durable.
- A multitude of substrate materials can be coated: metals, alloys, ceramics, glass, polymers, etc.
- The properties of the coating (such as hardness, structure, chemical and temperature resistance, adhesion) can be accurately controlled.
These coatings are generally used to improve hardness, wear resistance and oxidation resistance. Thus, such coatings are used in a wide range of applications such as:
- Dies and molds for all manner of material processing
- Cutting tools
- Thin films (window tint, food packaging, etc.)