PVD coating is almost used in every aspect of life, such as automotive, medical, aerospace, sports, buildings, decorative, industrial machines, and a lot more.
This method is popular since the coatings are durable and beautiful. Plus, they are available in a wide variety of colors and finishes for all kinds of products.
In this article, you will learn everything about PVD coating colors and finishes. Click any section below to study PVD coating colors and finishes in detail.
1. 16 Available Colors of the PVD Coating
PVD coating method not only gives a lot of different colors but also comes with many shades within each color.
The popular PVD colors of different products are distinctive. For instance, yellow gold and rose gold are common for PVD jewelry, while black and gold are common for PVD watches.
Here is a PVD color chart for your reference:
|Black||Bronze||Rose Gold||More Custom Colors|
2. 4 Factors to Affect the Colors of PVD Coating
The colors of PVD coating range widely, but how do the PVD methods coat a product into different colors and shades?
This depends upon the following factors:
- Exposure period
- Vacuum pressure
- Operating temperature
- PVD coating material and gases
The more time a product is exposed in a PVD coating machine, the thicker and stronger the coating layers will be.
Thus, if you put a substrate product in a machine for less period, the color will be shallow and light. Conversely, more time causes the coating color to be bright or dark.
No matter which type of PVD method, the process takes place in a vacuum chamber. And the vacuum pressure also determines the final color of the product.
High vacuum pressure determines that all the unwanted particles have left, and the chamber is now free of contaminants. The lesser contaminants, the more accurate the final color will be.
Moreover, high vacuum pressure also ensures the coating substance evaporates easily and binds strongly with the substrate without external interference, which ensures uniform color all over the surface.
Both of the above outcomes allow thicker coatings in a lesser amount of time, and the thicker the coatings, the more bright or dense the final color will be.
The color of the PVD coating also depends upon the temperature. Optimum temperature ensures the following results:
- Easy evaporation of coating substance
- Good binding between coating substance and substrate
- Good reaction between coating substance ions and gases particles
All of the above factors determine the desired color formation during a reaction and uniform strong color coating on the product surface.
Coating material and gases
The color of the PVD coating depends mainly on the nature of the coating material used during the PVD process. PVD coating materials following properties affect the final output color：
- The original color of coating materials
- How coating material ions reacting with gases
The final color is greatly affected by the original color of the coating substance. For example, Titanium nitride is goldish, and when it is coated on a product, the substrate will give a gold look.
Besides the original color of the coating substance, the final color of PVD coating also depends on gas(es) used in the chamber, its concentration, and the way that it will react with coating material ions.
The gas(es) can change the original color of the coating substance partly or fully. For instance, if we add nitrogen gas, the final color will be gold, but if we add oxygen gas, the final color will be multicolor, blue, etc.
3. Different Surface Finishes of PVD Coating
Surface finish means how the final surface of the product after coating will feel and look like, for example, whether the final surface will feel smooth or rough, or will shine or look dull, etc.
The surface finish has nothing to do with the final color. It may dull or shine the color but does not change the color of the coating.
The main kinds of PVD surface finishes are given below:
- Brushed PVD Finish
- Polished PVD Finish
- Matt PVD Finish
Polished PVD Finish
A polished PVD finish means a smooth, shiny mirror-like surface of PVD coatings. PVD coating on jewelry, watches, functional parts, decorative pieces, and more is usually use polished finish.
The benefits of Polished PVD Finish are given below：
- Very easy to clean
- Shiny Modern Surface
- Gives a neat and clean look
Polished surfaces do not absorb dust or moisture, which means they have very excellent corrosion resistance properties and are widely used to increase product lifespan.
Brushed PVD Finish
Brushed surface finishes PVD coatings have lines on them. The lines may be straight in the case of a hairline pattern. They can also be irregular in vibration and brush patterns.
The benefits of brushed PVD Finish are given below:
- Simple Cleaning
- Brushed finishes hide imperfections even more than matt surfaces because there are already lines on them, so scratches will hide among lines
Matt PVD Finish
Matt surfaces express a dull and non-shiny finish of the coatings. Matt surface finishes have the following benefits:
- Easy Cleaning.
- Scratch resistance.
- Corrosion resistance.
- Gives a more natural look.
Matt finishes last longer than polished finishes because they are dull and hide imperfections, while polished surfaces show even a single scratch.
4. Does PVD Coating Fade Over Time?
No. PVD coating is scratch-resistant and sunlight resistant. They don’t lose or change their color even if they come in contact with sweat, industrial chemicals, etc.
In general, different colors of PVD coating come with different durability. For example, titanium coatings are only second to diamond in hardness.
Plus, compared with conventional plating, PVD coatings are usually ten times thicker than it.
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