PVD Plating (Physical Vapor Deposition) Home > Technology > PVD Plating (Physical Vapor Deposition)

PVD Plating is widely apply not only in watch industrial, but in stainless steel jewelry as well. Here are some information about PVD, may help you know more about this technology.
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) describes a variety of vacuum deposition methods which can be used to produce thin films and coatings. PVD is characterized by a process in which the material goes from a condensed phase to a vapor phase and then back to a thin film condensed phase. The most common PVD processes are sputtering and evaporation. PVD is used in the manufacture of items which require thin films for mechanical, optical, chemical or electronic functions. Examples include semiconductor devices such as thin film solar panels, aluminized PET film for food packaging and balloons, and coated cutting tools for metalworking. Besides PVD tools for fabrication, special smaller tools (mainly for scientific purposes) have been developed.
PVD Advantages compare to other plating techniques
1,PVD coatings are sometimes harder and more corrosion resistant than coatings applied by the electroplating process. Most coatings have high temperature and good impact strength, excellent abrasion resistance and are so durable that protective topcoats are almost never necessary.
2, Ability to utilize virtually any type of inorganic and some organic coating materials on an equally diverse group of substrates and surfaces using a wide variety of finishes.
3, More environmentally friendly than traditional coating processes such as electroplating and painting.
4, More than one technique can be used to deposit a given film.
Techniques can be used to measure the physical properties of PVD coatings:
1, Calo tester: coating thickness test
2, Nanoindentation: hardness test for thin-film coatings
3, Pin on disc tester: wear and friction coefficient test
4, Scratch tester: coating adhesion test
5, X-ray micro-analyzer: investigation of structural features and heterogeneity of elemental composition for the growth surfaces
Most popular PVD plating colors for stainless steel jewelry
Gold, 14K, 18K, 24K color variations; Rose gold (pink gold); Coffee, Black, Dark grey, Blue, Silver, Platinum.
All these colors are available in a polished, satin or brush finish according to the product surface polish.
PVD Evaporation deposition processing apply in stainless steel jewelry
1, The jewelry or parts to be coated are first cleaned. Then, a first layer of Tin (tn) is vaporized in a vacuum chamber and use as a “base”.
2, For gold and rose gold finish real gold (14K or 18K) is evaporated and deposited on the part under high temperatures or via ion bombardment as a 2nd layer. The shade of the gold is according to the gold content.
3, Color pigments or gas in other cases together with the Tin layer are used to achieve other colors during the first layer process (without the use of gold as 2nd layer).
4, Depending on the substrate material the process temperature can be controlled from 100 degree Celsius to 280 degree Celsius.

Depend on the plating thickness, the manufacturing method and the reaction with the body acid. PVD will last from 10 months to few years. But Rose gold color is an exception, it would slightly change its color to yellow gold during the time the same as real rose gold (the copper in the rose gold oxidized) .
PVD plating on jewelry is not a scratch proof or lifetime finish although it is last longer than other plating in similar thickness (Zirconium Nitride (ZrN) is used for application required hard finish)
Igh quality PVD are more durable than other plating methods.

The PVD price is relatively more expensive compare to other plating methods like Chemical, electroplating, or spraying but still lower than precious metal dip coating thanks to the thin film layer used.

FRQ about PVD:
What the different from IP to IPG to PVD?
In general no differences other than the applying method.
Why not to use electroplating?
The colors are not stable and it’s not durable as PVD plating.

Is there a price different?
Yes, PVD plating way more expensive.

How durable is PVD plating?
in normal use, the plating won’t change for few years if done correctly.

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