Surface Pre-Treatment

Surface Pre-Treatment

The Deep Coat Process ensures adequate adhesion to many plastics, but some plastics are too smooth or slick to effectively deposit onto. Additionally, some customers prefer their plastic housing's surfaces to be roughed-up to a matte surface finish for external or cosmetic coatings.

Deep Coat Surface Pre-Treatment

The core of Deep Coat’s adhesion effectiveness is in-chamber plasma. During the vacuum metallization process the air is drawn out of the chamber to prepare for deposition. Then, before deposition begins a rarified gas is pumped into the chamber and excited by a pair of glow rods. The glow rods activate the gas and turn it into a low-energy plasma. The electron activity during the plasma cycle clears the plastic’s surface of any localized static or microscopic debris. The plastic is then prepared for coating and the metallization step occurs once the rarified gas is removed from the chamber.

Deep Coat can also address surface irregularities that are too large for the plasma process to affect. Such irregularities could be scratches, scuffs, debris, or dust. Larger blemishes on the surface of plastic housings are typically more visible after coating because of the increased surface reflectivity. Customers often request the highly visible coated surfaces to be smoothed in our ceramic-stone tumbling machines. This removes or reduces surface irredularities without requiring a chemical under-layer for the coatings.

The machines can also be used for stripping and replating housings. The metal coating can be tumbled away without impacting the dimensions of your housing when the coating process is affected by events such as: contaminated raw materials that weren’t scheduled for pre-coating washing, the outgassing of some plastics during vacuum coating, or disruptions in the coating batch.

Deep Coat also has sand, bead, and glass media blasting equipment capable of altering the surface finish of the plastic prior to coating. Our customers have requested this service for projects including: adhesion improvement for fire-retardant infused plastics, surface reflectivity dampening to reduce glare on metallized surfaces, and refraction improvements for coated fiber optic connectors.

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