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Photos: Ara-Coatings GmbH & Co. KG
Laser-induced PVD-markings and -coatings on products
Since many decades the PVD-technology is preferred, when a high-quality surface coating on products is needed – for example in the area of tools („abrasion resistance“) or in the glass sector (heat protection, anti-reflection, band pass filters, easy-to-clean-coatings, …).
But PVD is a vacuum-based coating method and therefore the technical equipment is complex – meaning that PVD coatings are expensive as compared to other coating technologies. This is the main reason why PVD is not wide spread in many markets until now.
This competitive disadvantage can be compensated now by the use of ARA-LT®:
In this case the PVD-coatings are to be applied on a transparent polymer carrier film first (e.g. PET) and after placing of this so – coated PET film directly on this product surface, a standard-marking laser has to be used for the transfer of the PVD-coating onto the product surface – as marking or coating with excellent adhesion and abrasion resistivity. The product surface is not affected by this process.
The purpose of these „PVD laser films“ can be decorative or functional – or both.
Suitable product surfaces to be equippedt with ARA-LT® are glass, ceramics, porcelain, marble or stones – but also some kinds of steel, plastics or even paper.
Suitable laser transferable materials are most metals and some alloys. Under certain conditions also transparent coating materials can be transferred with the laser.
Fig. 1 shows some laser transferred metals on glass.
The typical stack of a laser transferable PVD-coating is illustrated in fig. 2:
At first a release layer is deposited onto the PET carrier (= a very thin PVD-layer which shows an optical absorption with regard to the laser beam), followed by the PVD layer to be transferred. Finally an adhesion layer is added, which consist of a few nanometers thick PVD-layer, too.
This new marking or coating technology ARA-LT® can be used manually or for serial production also – by embedding a suitable device within the production line.
Several standard ARA-LT® films are offered by Ara-Coatings – for example gold, silver, titanium, aluminum, chrome or steel. For specific requirements the suitable lasertransferable materials can be developed.
Some possible marking applications are shown in fig. 3. In fig. 4 functional PVD coatings can be seen: The “laser coating” of individual electrical circuits, very small – but machine readable – codes or even forgery-proof signatures, which show light-intensity dependent color changes, suitable for a smartphone-based proof of originality for products (fig. 5)
Please contact us in case of interest – we will be happy to present you the best solution for your project.
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