What Are The Differences Between Electroplating And PVD?

Electroplating and PVD both processes are used by industries for coating the parts. PVD is a technology that provides high-quality finishes without damaging the environment. PVD is more environment friendly than electroplating but industries still use electroplating most of the times just because they have been using it since many years. Read differences between electroplating and PVD in this blog :

Electroplating:

  • Electroplating is a process of plating metal on a metal or plastic part. It was invented in 1805. Electroplated part gains corrosion resistance and hence last longer.
  • You can lend different properties to the metal like electrical conductivity and adhesion strength by using different metals for electroplating. Thicker coatings are achieved in electroplating as compared to PVD. Chemical solutions required in this process are supplied by electroplating chemical suppliers.
  • In electroplating, the part is placed in the tank of a solution containing material to be deposited. You can purchase this solution in India from electroplating chemical manufacturers. The cathode of the power supply is attached to the product to be plated and the anode of the supply is attached to the material you want to deposit. The power is supplied, the negatively charged product attracts the positive ions of the material that needs to be deposited from electroplating chemical solution. The anode material replenishes the material in the solution that is deposited on the substrate.
  • The electroplating is a low energy electrochemical process. Many different types of solutions are manufactured by electroplating chemical manufacturers depending upon the application.

PVD

  • Physical Vapor Deposition(PVD) provides strength, durability as well as decorative appearance to the part. PVD belongs to a group of coating fabrication processes that are performed in an artificially created vacuum. PVD is lightweight and has low maintenance.
  • PVD coating is vacuum deposition process which is used on a large scale in recent years. PVD process has been scaled up to handle large complex part geometries at affordable prices. In PVD process, coatings can be deposited from room temperature to as high as 500-degree Celsius depending on the substrate and the application.
  • In PVD process you can achieve more uniform deposit, improved adhesion and have a wider choice of materials to be deposited. There are no harmful chemicals generated in PVD process which means chemical disposal costs are minimal in this process.
  • For the product to be PVD coated it is placed in a fixture and placed in the vacuum vessel. The whole unit is pumped down to the desired vacuum pressure. The product will be then preheated and sputter cleaned depending on the substrate and the process.
  • After sputter cleaning, a negative charge is applied to the cathode material and if the substrate is conductive, a negative bias is applied to the substrate. The material to be deposited arrives at the substrate at a high energy level and travel along the surface of the substrate until it reaches a preferred nucleation site. The continuous bombardment of ions from the source sputters the depositing material so you do not receive the large edge build ups.
  • The film adhesion achieved in PVD process is far better than what is provided in electroplating process due to higher energy levels of the ions arriving at the surface of the product.
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