thin and yet top-performing coatings
what is a vacuum coating process?
Vacuum coating processes are a form of physical vapor deposition, referred to in short as PVD. During the process, the component to be coated is vaporized or ionized in a vacuum chamber using thermal energy or plasma. Using innovative processes, we apply metallic or ceramic coating materials to substrates, thus creating extremely thin (nanoscale) protective layers with convincing characteristics. The resulting layer adheres better to the surface due to the low air density and can improve a variety of properties such as hardness or wear resistance.
When it comes to extremely thin coatings, our vacuum coating process achieves the best possible results. Our atomically anchored nanoscale coatings emerge from two sophisticated finishing processes: cathodic arc deposition and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition.
cathodic arc deposition
This physical vapor deposition technique involves the vaporization and ionization of metal to subsequently accelerate it onto the workpiece in the electric field. In this process, an arc is generated between an anode and cathode, whereby the coating material evaporates at the cathode surface and is deposited by condensation as a thin film on the component to be coated. Cathodic arc evaporation can be used to produce coatings with various properties such as hardness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Reactive gases allow for the trouble-free creation of ceramic surface finishes, such as carbide, oxide or nitride.
plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD)
Plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition is a coating technique in which the chemical deposition is assisted by a plasma. The plasma acts as a catalyst for the reaction of the reactive gases to form a thin layer on the surface of the workpiece. Using this technique, gaseous substances can be deposited onto the substrate at temperatures below 200°C, which means that the temperature load on the components is lower. With common chemical vapor deposition methods, reactions will not take place until a temperature of approx. 1.000°C has been reached. PECVD is ideal for extremely hard, diamond-like carbon coatings.
Our vacuum coating processes: cerid® V-TEC and cerid® duplex V-TEC
Backed by almost 60 years of experience in the area of surface coatings, Aalberts surface technologies relies on progressive research and classic processes. We take full advantage of the capabilities of vacuum coatings and offer two central processes: cerid® V-TEC and cerid® duplex V-TEC.
overview cerid® V-TEC and cerid® duplex V-TEC
How it works
High-performance multi-layer coatings consisting of titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) and titanium carbon nitride (TiCN)
– High degree of hardness
– Good tenacity
– Protection against cold welding
– Wear resistance
– 3-6 µm
cerid® duplex V-TEC
Combination of plasma nitriding without compound layer with cerid® V-TEC
– High wear resistance
– Longer service life of the surface coating
– 5-10 µm
our vacuum coating processes: cerid® V-TEC and cerid® duplex V-TEC
cerid® V-TEC coatings by Aalberts surface technologies are high-performance multi-layer coatings consisting of titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) and titanium carbon nitride (TiCN). Despite low coating thicknesses between 3 and 6 µm, both materials ensure finishes with a high degree of hardness and good tenacity. Consisting of TiCN, the top layer has a low coefficient of friction, thus offering ideal protection against cold welding. These hard coatings are also recommended for the reduction of lubricants.
cerid® V-TEC is a very robust and wear-resistant coating solution which scores in the area of metal forming as well as in other applications. This surface finish also ensures long service lives in the areas of plastics processing, punching tools and machine components.
When combining plasma nitriding without compound layers with our tried and tested cerid® V-TEC coatings, it is possible to create a particularly strong bond between the coating and the hardened surface. The wear resistance and life expectancy of the surface coating can thus be increased to a significant extent, which becomes particular apparent when it comes to highly stressed tools. Offering innovative custom coating systems and precision manufacturing, we contribute to your success.
benefit from our services, from the idea to series production:
- Development of individual innovations
- Clarification of detailed questions
- Support from the idea to series production
- First-class customer care
- Top quality – no matter whether we are talking about small batches or large-scale production
properties and fields of use
Covering a wide range of applications, our vacuum coatings can be found in many different sectors. Offering excellent protection against corrosion, our contour-replicating non-stick coatings conform to the standards of the automotive industry. They are applied, for instance, to pistons, connecting rods or valve drives. Our cerid® 5N coating, which is unique in the world, prevents soot deposits in V12 engines. Besides, our biocompatible, allergy-reducing vacuum coatings have been used in the area of medical engineering for more than 20 years. To ensure good healing results, we finish, for example, dental, knee and hip implants.
Depending on the type of vacuum coating process and the individual application-related requirements, our vacuum coatings come with different characteristics:
- Reduction of allergens
- Non-stick effect
- Protection against cold welding
- Contour replication
- Corrosion protection
- Wear protection
industries we serve
frequently asked questions - vacuum coatings
PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition. This method creates hard ceramic layers on the material which are only a few µm thick. These coatings are created in a plasma vacuum process.
Thin coatings are true surface finishes which do not require any rework.
When it comes to medical devices, vacuum coatings offer advantages like accurate contours and allergy-reducing surfaces. They are applied, for example, to dental, knee and hip implants.
Highly stressed forming tools and molds used in the areas of metal forming and plastic injection molding as well as all kinds of components are protected against wear, adhesion and corrosion. The tools’ service life is thus increased by factors between 3 and 10.
Vacuum coating processes create extremely pure and very thin layers. Thanks to these properties, vacuum coatings can also be used in sensitive areas, such as medical technology.
Any questions? Contact us directly or select a process location near you.