VACUUM METALIZING (Sputter Coating Process)
A variation on Vacuum Metalizing
(Filiment Evaporation/Cathode Arch/Sputter) called "Low Pressure Deposition."
• Does not utilize complete atmosphere removal (vacuum)
• Utilizes a basecoat, but a highly polished mold/amorphous materials don't need.
• Deposition is very uniform and controlled.
• Creates a very bright appearance (varies with thickness & basecoat color)
• Materials that oxidize must be top coated - is metalizing, not plating.
• Aluminum oxides, chrome, stainless steel.
• Does not oxidize - no top coat required.
SPUTTER COATING PROCESS:
• Parts are sprayed with a basecoat (becoming obsolete
new technology with highly polished molds using amorphous materials).
• Parts are racked, racks put into the chamber, the chamber is then sealed.
• Argon gas is introduced into the chamber in a continuously flowing manner.
• Electricity creates an active Argon plasma field in front of the cathode. (The cathode is an assembly which contains magnets and provides a mounting for the target - a plate of the material which will be deposited.
The magnets are located behind the target.)
• The positively charged (ionized) Argon atoms are accelerated by passing through a magnetic field (created by magnets inside the cathode).
• The positive atoms are attracted to the negative
charged cathode which contains the target.
• The target is bombarded with each ion particle, they individually break off ("chip") an atom of the target material with each collision (target hit continuously).
• Continuous (and directed) sputteing of tghe release target atoms are "shot" onto the surface of the part (direction is assisted by the magnetic field - perpendicular to the target.
• The basecoat material/paint (or high gloss amorphous part) provides a smooth surface for the atoms to be deposited together and build up on the part.
• The part is top coated with HMDSO (in monomer form, polymerized by passing through a plasma created by high voltage rods - the polymer condensates onto the coating surface).
• The chamber is vented and parts removed/reloaded.
• Approximate cycle time - 5 minutes
Unsurpassed in quality and durability, Hicks Plastics offers unpresedented chrome coating and plastics paint finishes for automotive, marine, sporting goods and custom made parts.
Whatever your plastics needs, Hicks Plastics can accomodate your custom parts order because we are equipped with one of the widest variety of specialized injection molding machines and metalized coating facilities in the country.
Our team of plastics experts are second to non when it comes to product run completion. Quality Control is top priority from start to finish and our complete parts assembly assures that all processes are done with the strict industry