DUNMORE is one of the world's leading providers of vacuum metallization services and contract metalization with over 48 years of experience.
Vacuum Metallization Process
Vacuum metallization is a form of physical vapor deposition, a process of combining metal with a non-metallic substrate through evaporation. The most common metal used in vacuum metallization is aluminum for a variety of reasons such as cost, thermodynamic, and reflective properties. The evaporation takes place by feeding aluminum onto heated sources or boats, which operate at approximately 1500°C (2700°F). The vacuum metalization chamber's atmosphere is evacuated to a vacuum level suitable for the evaporation of the aluminum wire. Upon contact with the substrate being processed, the aluminum vapor condenses and creates a uniform layer of vacuum deposited aluminum.
Vacuum Metalization for Aesthetics
Vacuum Metallization is done for many reasons; aesthetically it adds a unique appearance. The vacuum deposited aluminum substrate can have a highly reflective mirror like finish or be used in conjunction with other processes, like coating or laminating, to create a decorative effect. Film that has undergone vacuum metallization can also be dyed and/or coated to give the substrate a unique color. Additionally, any vacuum metallized film can be laminated to a variety of other substrates, such as leather and synthetic fabrics, to give the material a unique and high-end appearance. Some additional decorative possibilities include:
- Appliance surfacing films
- Label stock for a variety of applications
- Personal care packaging
Vacuum Metallization for Insulation Applications
Vacuum metallizing is primarily used to increase functionality of a substrate. A vacuum deposited aluminum surface is ideal for insulation, mostly because of its increased reflectance / radiant properties. Commercial and residential radiant barrier reflective insulation materials get their functionality from the vacuum metallization process. Thermal insulation systems that are used to protect spacecraft are constructed of multiple layers of vacuum metallized polyimide films.
Vacuum Metalization Increases Barrier Properties
Another function derived from the vacuum metallization process is increased barrier properties. Metallization of a plastic substrate makes in a great moisture and air barrier. Applications include food & beverage packaging and medical applications. The vacuum metallizing process decreases the substrates light transmission making it an effective light barrier. The light transmission is controlled by the amount of vacuum deposited aluminum. Some functional barrier and insulation applications include:
- Aerospace thermal protection systems
- Electronic labels
- Radiant barrier insulation
- Medical packaging
- Window treatments
Metallization, Metalization, Metallision, or Metalision?
In American English usage, both metallizion (with two “l”s) and metalization (with one “l”) are used interchangeabley; neither version is wrong or misspelled. Similarly, in British English, both metallision or metalision are used, though metallision (with two “l”s) seems more prevalent. Vacuum coating is another term that is synonymous with vacuum metalizing.
Contact Us for More About Vacuum Metallization
DUNMORE has been providing vacuum metallization contract manufacturing services for over 48 yeats, please contact us to find out more about our vacuum deposited aluminum services.