Cathodic Arc


An "evaporative" PVD coating process offering a wide range of coverage for coating complex geometry. The system utilizes a "Line of Sight" coating process that requires that the part be directly in the path of the cathode (target material being applied). An electric arc is used to vaporize the material directly from the target turning it into a plasma (gas) state. With this in mind, the chamber has a "positive" charge and the parts have a "negative" charge. Mechanical pumps remove air and contaminants while lowering the chamber pressure to a negative atmosphere. At this point, the target material condenses on the part being coated forming a thin film layer. High energy at the surface ensures a strong bond (mechanical adhesion) and an increase in overall "toughness" of the thin film.

The majority of "Functional Coatings" are applied using this technology. Parts that are coated utilizing this technology require a metallic base. While there are many materials that are applied using this system, the most common "targets" used include: Titanium (Ti); Zirconium (Zr); Chromium (Cr); Aluminum Titanium (AlTi). Our cathodic arc batch coating system can apply films ranging from several hundred angstroms to several microns, depending on the application. Arc deposited films are available in a range of colors, gray, black, gold, bronze, chrome, graphite, blue and rainbow. Additional colors are under development.

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