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How Vacuum Deposition Works

June 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Vacuum evaporation is an important process in manufacturing

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Are you wearing scratch-resistant eye glasses? If you are, you can thank vacuum deposition systems for giving you clear vision! The process is an important turning point in manufacturing in the 21st century. The basic process is simple, but the technique is used in situations where heat would damage the materials you want to coat.

Everything starts inside of a sealed chamber. The chamber contains the material that the manufacturer uses to coat the substrate. Those materials begin in solid form, but extreme heat liquefies and eventually evaporates the material. Cool air is pushed into the sputter coater at that point, which slows the molecules bouncing around the inside of the chamber. When the right temperatures is reached, the substrate is put into the chamber to receive a coating. The molecules eventually settle as they reach cooler and cooler temperatures, forming the thin coating around the substrate.

Thin film vacuum coating changes the property of the substrate. It can make a circuit board conducive, or add a glare-proof coating to glass surfaces. Solar cells use it to apply the coating that absorbs the sun’s energy and converts it into energy for the home. Vacuum evaporation is also used to distill liquids that have an unusually high boiling point, so it’s natural in food preservation.

Vacuums are important to manufacturing objects that have a low threshold with regards to heat. Too much heat, and the substrate will melt, but the coating typically requires extreme heat to break down into molecular form. Through an intense shift in temperature, from extreme heat to cold, the vacuum chamber solves these manufacturing road blocks and lets us create more durable and useful technology.