The advantages of applying a decorative coating are numerous, to name a few:
• Longer lifetime
• Many bright, metallic colours
• Excellent scratch protection
• Environmentally-friendly processes
The applications in which the coatings are used, are also plentiful:
• Automotive interior & exterior parts
• Consumer products, such as mobile phones, computers & cameras
• Jewellery & watches
• Bathroom equipment
• Door handles
Coating on Plastics
More and more plastic products are used in fields where metal was previously predominant. In these cases, the end product should meet functional requirements (durability and scratch resistance) and aesthetic appearance. There are basically three ways to achieve this result; electroplating, painting and PVD coating. Electroplating has a typical surface hardness of around 600 HV. The typical thickness of around 30 µm levels the surface imperfections. Electroplating, however, is a wet, environmentally-unfriendly process and a source of hexavalent Cr6+, which is considered carcinogenic and therefore banned in more and more countries. Furthermore, chromium plating is mainly limited to ABS. The main disadvantage of painting is the absence of an attractive metal look.
Metallic Colours, Cool Touch
Alternatively, PVD coating has several advantages. It is an entirely dry and thus environmentally-friendly process. It offers a wide range of coating materials resulting in vivid metallic colours, has a cool touch. Levelling effect can be achieved in combination with a top quality mould for zero-defect plastic products or by using a lacquer with enough thickness and depositing the PVD coating on top. Such an approach is realized by Hauzer using Cromatipic®, an environmentally-friendly process developed by Sidasa, consisting of two layers without the need for a transparent topcoat. Cromatipic® and PVD directly on plastics are both applicable on many thermoplastics.
Batch and Inline Equipment
The coating processes of metal and plastic products are often mass production. Depending on the manufacturing needs, a choice can be made between batch machines in several sizes or a flexible inline production platform. The choice is between Hauzer Flexicoat® or Hauzer Metalliner® equipment. Machines built to be robust and flexible so they can be upgraded with new technologies.
If you want to read more about decorative coating technology, please download the article from our Hauzer for You magazine: Coatings on Plastics - Technology Designed for a Wide Range of Solutions.