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Plastics

PVD coatings can be applied by arc evaporation to plastic materials, sometimes even without any previous galvanic treatment. Applications in the decorative field range from faucets to home appliances to sport goods.
Smooth TiN coatings on PUR (polyurethane) and other polymers are used for bioengineering applications, due to its good chemical stability and permeation barrier behaviour. Coating deposition usually by DC sputtering.
Another transparent coating, AlN, is hard and thermally conductive and exhibits high resistance to temperature even in hostile environments. Coating deposition usually by DC sputtering.
Scratch-resistant transparent BN films can be easily deposited by PECVD.
Transparent layers (in SiO2, Al2O3 or both combined) are used mainly by the packaging industry, applied as low permeability barriers to water and oxygen molecules to preserve the product quality. They are usually deposited by PECVD.
ZnO-type layers low stressed and smooth coatings used to protect polycarbonate and other polymers used in outdoor applications against photo-degradation, being good absorbers in the UV range, while being transparent to visible radiation.
Transparent electro-conductive coatings (TCO) are finding increased usage in the field of anti-reflective coatings matching refractive index for special glasses and recently also for photovoltaic layered configurations.
To provide a suitable adhesion strength between a polymer and a hard coating, ion bombardment treatment is employed to create cross-linked layers with intermediate hardness for enhancing adhesion strength.
Another possibility is exposure to oxygenated cold plasma, able to create high densities of CO- dangling bonds, excellent for promoting adhesion. Ultra-thin plasma polymer coatings, as for instance that obtained in C2H2 DC discharge, having a good adhesion on a wide range of substrate materials, can serve as primers readily adherent to subsequent coatings.
In general, PECVD processes are having progressively growing use for pre-treatment and post treatment of substrates. Amorphous C or C:N overcoats offer closed coverage at nanometric thickness and are being currently employed for coating magnetic disks. Teflon-like hydrophobic coatings are finding applications in LCD flat panels, plasma screens, touch screens, outdoor displays and windows.

Kenosistec provides customers with a complete line of magnetron sputtering, PECVD and cathodic arc systems and can supply “key in hands” production facilities including ultrasonic cleaning lines, quality control instruments and integrated process and production know how.

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