Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC
Certain manufacturing techniques are shaping the modern world, and the future to come. It would not be possible to produce the kind of technology we have today, at the scale in which we use it, without some kind of method to reduce waste and improve conditions for production. Sputter deposition, for instance, allows us a level of precision down to mere microns in thickness. This allows us to create powerful semiconductors at an extremely small scale, powering ever smaller devices used in a host of applications.
Vacuum coating systems have had a major impact on every major sector in American and worldwide manufacturing. Here are a few of those practical applications.
Anti-glare coating is not a simple spray, or else it would be washed or rubbed away as the user cleans his glasses. Instead, the lens is placed into a vacuum sealed chamber where anti-glare chemicals can evenly coat its surface. The transition is so seamless that the user doesn’t even notice the coating.
Catheters are just one of many internal medical devices that benefit from acqueous coatings. These chemicals make the surface of the instrument pliable within the user’s body, so she can comfortably wear a device without fear of irritating her skin or internal organs.
Anti-microbial coatings further stop infection and improve patient recovery times. These coatings are applied to all manner of instruments, and they kill of infections that find their way into someone’s body through healing wounds.
Vacuum metalizing is used heavily in the aerospace industry, and in the auto industry to a certain extent. Plastic has a higher availability than stronger metals, and it’s not always feasible to manufacture a part made entirely of metals. Instead, the plastic is used as a base for a metallic coating. This strengthens the plastic with the properties of the metal and reduces the costs to manufacture all sorts of parts.
Vacuum coating systems are primarily used in situations where controlling temperature is imperative. This is one reason why it’s so useful in metallization, where the intense heat needed to turn the metal into gas would completely destroy any plastic parts to be coated. Instead, the chamber is cooled to a specific temperature.
These systems also allow for extreme precision in the coating of an object. There are no physical defects visible, and layers of chemicals are so thin that the substrate remains virtually unchanged.