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PVD Introduction

1. Meanings of PVD —

PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition, among hardware industry, PVD is frequently referred to as Ion Plating (IP). PVD is the technology of using physical way to coat materials onto the substrates in the condition of vacuum.

2. PVD Coating and PVD Coating Machine —

The PVD Coating Technology can be mainly divided into three kinds: Vacuum Evaporation Coating, Vacuum Sputtering Coating, and Vacuum Ion Coating. According to the classify of PVD Technology, the corresponding PVD equipments also have three kinds: Vacuum Evaporation Coating Machine, Vacuum Sputtering Coating Machine, and Vacuum Ion Coating Machine. The PVD Coating we generally called is just referred to Vacuum Ion Coating; The PVD Coating Machine we generally called is just referred to Vacuum Ion Coating Machine.

3. The Principle of PVD Coating Technology —

The detailed principle of PVD coating (Ion Coating) Technology is in the condition of vacuum, using the arc discharge with low voltage and heavy current, evaporating the target materials using gas discharge and making the vaporized materials and the vapor ionized, and then depositing the vaporized materials and their reaction products onto the substrates under the acceleration of the electric field.

4. The characteristic of PVD coatings —

The films made by PVD coating technology, have high hardness, high wearing resistance (low coefficient of friction), good corrosion resistance and chemical stability, and longer lifetime of the film; meanwhile, the films can highly improve the appearance of the products.

5. Films which PVD coating technology can coat —

PVD coating technology is an environmental surface processing method, which can really make up the coatings of nanometer class. It can make some kinds of single metal film (e.g. Al, Ti, Zr, Cr, etc.), nitride film (e.g. TiN, ZrN, CrN, TiAlN etc.), carbide film (e.g. TiC 、TiCN etc.) and oxide film (e.g. TiO).

6. Thickness of PVD Coatings —

The thickness of PVD Coatings is in micron order. It's a bit thin, about 0.3μm ~ 5μm. Thereinto the thickness of PVD decorative coating is generally in the range of 0.3μm ~ 1μm, and then the physical properties and chemical properties of the surface of the substrates can be improved without the dimensions of the substrate being chaged. The substrate need not to be machining after PVD coated.

7. Different kinds of Colors of PVD Coatings —

At present, the colors of the PVD coatings are mainly as follows: deep gold color, light gold color, brown, bronze-colored, grey, black, greyblack, iridescence etc. Through controlling of the parameters of coating process, we can control the colors of the PVD coatings. After the PVD process, we can use the special equipment to measure the accuracy of the color, quantifying the colors to make sure whether the colors can meet the requirements.

8. Similarities and differences between PVD coating and traditional chemical plating —

The similarities are that they both belong to the range of surface treatment. They all coat one material onto another material (substrate) through certain method. The differences are that the adherence of PVD coating is stronger, and the PVD coating is more harder. The PVD coating also has better wear resistance , better corrosion resistance and better chemical stability. Besides, PVD coating process will not produce poisonous substances or contaminations.

9. The mainly applied industries of PVD coating technology —

At the present time, the application of PVD Ion Coating Technology is mainly divided into two parts: Decorative Coating and Functional Coating (Tool Coating). The purpose of decorative Coating is to improve the appearance decoration and color performance, meanwhile also make the substrates have better wear resistance, corrosion resistance and longer lifetime. The decorative coating is mainly applied on the following products: hardware for the door and window, lock hardware, kitchen and shower equipment hardware etc. The purpose of functional coating is mainly to increase the surface hardness and wear resistance of products, decrease the friction coefficient of the surface and prolong the lifetime of products. The functional coating is mainly applied on different kinds of knifes and scissors, cutting tools (e.g. lathe tool, planer tool, milling cutter, drills etc.), hardware tools (e.g. screwdriver, pliers etc.), and different kinds of moulds.

10. Specialty and superiority of PVD coating (Ion coating) technology —

Compared with vacuum evaporation coating and vacuum sputtering coating, the PVD Ion coating has the following superiority:
•  The adherence power between coating and product surface is stronger, the coating has better wear resistance and longer lifetime.
•  The turn around property of ions is better, can coat products that have complicated shapes.
•  The deposition rate of the coating is more rapid, the productivity is higher.
•  The kinds of coatings are more widely.
•  The PVD coatings have better chemical stability and safety (have been certificated by FDA, can be implanted into people's body).

Comparison between

Vacuum Evaporation Coating, Vacuum Sputtering Coating and Vacuum Ion Coating

Item Compared

Vacuum Evaporation Coating

Vacuum Sputtering Coating

Vacuum Ion Coating(PVD Coating)

Pressure (Torr)

10 -5 -10 -6



Energy of Particle






Hundreds to Thousands

Deposition Rate ( μm /min)




Turn around property

not good



Adherence power

not good



Compactness of coatings

low density

high density

high density

Air hole in the coating




Internal Stress

tensile stress

compressive stress

compressive stress



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