The PVD system at West Coast PVD is a large decorative batch coater capable of large volume through-put or custom jobs. The metal is evaporated from a single target material using a Cathodic Arc Evaporation Process. This particular PVD process also utilizes a patented Low Temperature Arc Vapor Deposition (LTAVD) process to create high-performance coatings on a variety of materials, including heat sensitive materials like Chrome plated ABS plastic, Aluminum and Zinc Castings.
The PVD coating is applied utilizing the cathodic arc principles to evaporate and deposit metals on different substrate materials under vacuum. The parts are loaded into the vacuum chamber, which is pumped down to a vacuum range of 10-4 to 10-5 torr. The first step is to introduce argon gas and initiate a glow discharge. This is the gas cleaning stage and prepares the parts for the metal coating step. A high current, low voltage arc on the target material evaporates the metal. The evaporated metal is ionized and subsequently deposited on the parts that have a negative charge. During the metal deposition step, reactive gases are introduced into the vacuum chamber. By adjusting the volume of gas and type of gas, the process produces metal carbides, metal nitrides, metal oxides and metal carbon nitrides.
The finishes produced in the PVD process exhibit different ranges of colors that have the desired decorative look or finish. The colors will not chip, fade or tarnish. In addition, the PVD coating has functional properties such as improved wear and corrosion resistance, improved bonding surface, biocompatibility, improved hardness, heat resistance and oxidation resistance.
PVD coatings are applied as decorative and functional on a variety of parts including faucets, plumbing accessories, door hardware, slot machine parts, golf putters, watches, guns, knives, medical tools and aircraft parts.
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