Physical Vapor Deposition is the process of condensing vaporized coating materials onto a substrate. The process, in part, is completed under high-vacuum conditions with either the use of heat for energy or ions. Salvo Coatings currently uses thermal evaporation, electron beam with plasma assist and ion beam sputtering.
In the thermal evaporation deposition technique, the material is heated until it forms a vapor by electrical current passing through a filament where the material is deposited. The evaporated material is then condensed on the substrate. Other methods of heating are also used, such as a RF coil surrounding a graphite crucible.
Ion-Beam Sputtering (IBS) is a method in which a coating target is bombarded by positive ions generated by a magnetron. The magnetron uses electrons captured by a magnetic field to ionize gases like argon or oxygen. These ions are directed to the target essentially chipping the target off one atom at a time. The neutral atoms are deposited on the surface of the substrate. Salvo Coatings utilizes this application for products ranging from thin-film heads for disk drives to high laser damage components.
In the Ion-Assisted Deposition process (IAD), an electron gun is used to generate a cloud of coating material and the ion beam is directed at the substrate. The beam adds energy to the surface of the material and creates a packed, dense coating. Many coating materials including carbon can be applied using an Ion Gun directly as well. Either method of IAD is useful for many products where temperature is a concern.
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