The industrial coatings industry provides a huge variety of protective coatings to many different industries, from NASA to your local factory. Traditional hard chrome plating or thermal spray coatings are the standard, but there is another lesser-known deposition method that may provide unprecedented benefits to the industry.
Vacuum deposition is a no-touch application method with a number of advantages over hard chrome and thermal spray. Here are some reasons why you should use vacuum coating equipment rather than other methods of deposition:
- Vacuum deposition is eco-friendly. Other industrial coating services can cause severe environmental damage. Chromium-6, found in hard chrome coatings, is classified as a likely carcinogen. Releasing the chemicals from the coating into the air, soil, and water can cause serious health problems for humans and animals, as well as plants and other organisms.
- Many regulations have been put in place to reduce the dangerous chemicals from entering non-controlled environments, so cheaper coating services like hard chrome are no longer as cost-effective as they once were. What costs don’t go in to the deposition of the hard coatings themselves are made up for with tight rules and regulations and extremely careful (and expensive) control centers.
- Vacuum coating equipment provides a smaller-scale, sealed deposition area where no harmful chemicals can escape. Wear-resistant galvanized coatings are also environmentally friendly and carcinogen-free.
- Vacuum coating is more effective in even coatings. Coating sheets are used in vacuum deposition and evaporated to coat the product with a wet media application on either side. While hard chrome plating often results in uneven coatings due to dripping, and thermal spray coatings are unable to coat more than a couple inches at a time, vacuum deposition equipment distributes even pressure throughout the coating process.
- Vacuum depositions are much faster than thermal spray coatings. While thermal spray is often a much more accurate alternative to hard chrome, thermal spray can take hours to coat just one product. For items with complex geometries, thermal coatings take even longer to complete. Human controllers must monitor the motions of the thermal deposition machine, as it is impossible to program it for new items over and over again. Vacuum deposition processes are much simpler, and the low pressure environment allows the evaporated coating to attach to the substrate freely.