WE LOVE PLASMA

Plasma is at the heart of our PVD and PACVD technologies. These technologies enable us to find standard and custom-made solutions for your surface engineering requirements.

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PVD COATING TECHNOLOGY

PVD EXPERTISE AT A GLANCE

PVD coating is the abbreviation of Physical Vapour Deposition. It is a plasma technology depositing a coating in a vacuum environment. A PVD coating will improve the properties of products. It can make them more heat and wear resistant, reduce friction or offer an attractive, fashionable colour. In tool, decorative and tribological markets, PVD hard coatings are often applied for added value.

ARC EVAPORATION

ARC AS A STANDARD

In this technology an Arc discharge is created between the evaporation material (target) and the vacuum chamber wall. The Arc spot moves over the target as a point SOURCE and evaporates the material. Due to the power of the discharge current, the evaporated atoms are ionized. These ions react with gases inside the chamber and are drawn towards the products on which the coating will grow.

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CARC+ Technology
Our CARC+ technology deserves a separate mention. This circular arc evaporation technology has been developed for the tool market and finds nowadays also customers in tribological applications. CARC+ technology is characterised by extremely high deposition speeds, due to the special magnetic field design. Furthermore there is a high target efficiency and strong reduction of metal droplets. CARC+ technology has become a standard in the market.

MAGNETRON SPUTTERING

SPUTTERING WITH POWER

One form of PVD coating technology is magnetron sputtering. The vacuum chamber of the PVD coating machine is filled with an inert gas, such as argon. By applying a high voltage, a glow discharge is created, resulting in acceleration of ions to the target surface from the target. Often an additional gas such as nitrogen or acetylene is used, which will react with the ejected material (reactive sputtering).

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Magnetron sputtering uses magnetic fields to increase the plasma density in front of the target. resulting in increased efficiency, higher sputter rates and improved ion bombardment during the growth of the coating. The coatings are mostly used for tribological and decorative applications.

HIPIMS
High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) is a specific kind of sputtering that combines the advantages of high ionization like arc evaporation with the smoothness of magnetron sputtering. Because the target material is sputtered as atoms, the coatings are generally very smooth, which has advantages in applications where friction needs to be reduced. HIPIMS technology is used in a growing number of niche applications.

PACVD COATING TECHNOLOGY

DLC COATINGS BY PACVD

In Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapour Deposition (PACVD) a gas is introduced into the vacuum chamber. By igniting a plasma, the gas is cracked into radicals. These radicals condense onto the product and form the coating. An example of a PACVD coating is Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating, which can be used in tribological applications to make components wear resistant and achieve friction reduction.

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It can also be used in tool applications. Due to its anti-sticking properties it is very suitable for the machining of non-ferrous metals and plastics. In decorative applications DLC coating is liked for its dark colour.