American manufacturing is fast becoming a world leader, especially in quality parts made cheaply. Much of this boils down to improvements made in advanced manufacturing. We can do more with a lot less, especially when it comes to materials and waste. Companies have gone to great lengths to try and save every resource possible, including adopting new practices like sputter deposition.
The machines that handle these processes are complicated by nature because they must handle extremely specific processes. Everything from the way a substrate is coated, to the methods used to heat the coating materials, must be precisely measured. Plastic is a great example of why this is. At high temperatures, like the kind that would melt metal, plastic would also melt.
Vacuum deposition systems are able to control variables like temperature at extremely precise rates, and the substrate receives an even coating thanks to rotating platforms that let molecules settle evenly on the surface of the object.
One major area where these changes have made a noticeable improvement is in the field of technology. Technology has a tendency to scale downward in price as time goes on. We’ve seen that as technology becomes more advanced, it becomes cheaper and easier to manufacture. Semiconductors benefit heavily from these systems. The coatings allow for precise layering of metals on circuitry. This makes everything from smaller cell phones to powerful computers possible.
High performance engines, like the kinds used in air planes and race cars, also benefit from this kind of technology. The intense use these engines are put through is not meant for sustainability, so industry has had to adopt. Metalizing plastic screws has become commonplace in newer engine and chassis designs.
Consumers also benefit from technology they use in their homes. Especially those who utilize health care technology. Eye glasses with anti-glare coating are made of a special kind of plastic. The coating is not a liquid form, or else it would lose effectiveness. The coating must be applied in a microscopically thin layer.
Aside from the ability to control variables with precision, much of this technology is useful because it can coat something with such an even finish. Sputtering tends to give a matte or anodized finish, but the coating is without defect and even across the surface of the substrate. That level of precision also means lower costs to the manufacturer, who isn’t paying for materials unnecessarily wasted.
Denton Vacuum, LLC sells vacuum deposition systems for industrial manufacturing applications.