What Is PVD Coating?
Scratch-Free Surfaces on High-End Products

From luxury watches to tech gadgets and tools, PVD coating has conquered industries with its uniform and durable surface. Dive with us into the world of surface coatings and discover how it transforms the appearance and performance of products.

What is PVD coating?

PVD, which stands for Physical Vapor Deposition, is an advanced technology for colouring and coating metal surfaces. This method is used in a wide range of industries.

Some well-known products that use PVD coating include:

  1. Watches: Many luxury watch brands, including Tag Heuer, Omega, and Rolex, use PVD coating on their watches.
  2. Tech: Apple uses the method on several of their products, including the Apple Watch.
  3. Hard tools: PVD coating is also used to enhance the durability and wear resistance of tools such as drills, turning, and milling tools.
  4. Automotive industry: Many car manufacturers use PVD coating on parts such as rims, exhaust pipes, and gear shafts.
  5. Jewelry: PVD coating is also used on jewellery and accessories to give them a durable and attractive finish.

The PVD method involves the use of a vacuum chamber, where a solid material, often a metal ion, is heated and vaporised. The evaporated particles then condense on the surface of the metal object, forming a film. This film can have a variety of different properties, depending on the material used.

One of the biggest advantages of the PVD method is its ability to produce a very smooth, uniform coating. This is due to the process which takes place in a vacuum, where there are no airborne particles or impurities that can affect the quality of the coating. Additionally, PVD coatings have very high wear resistance and resistance to corrosion and oxidation.

The PVD method also allows for the customisation of the coating’s color and finish. By adjusting the parameters of the process, different colours can be achieved, from gold to black or silver. Furthermore, different surface finishes, such as matte or glossy, can also be achieved.

PVD coatings are often used for decorative purposes, where it is desired to give metal surfaces an aesthetic appearance. However, they can also be used for functional purposes, such as improving the wear resistance of tools or enhancing the corrosion resistance of parts for the automotive industry.

News: Upgrading our buckles

At Nordform, we do not want buckles where the color of the metal peels off or loses its color. Therefore, we are proud to announce that our belt buckles have now been upgraded with PVD coating. In fact, the buckles have been continuously upgraded, and since late 2023, all our buckles have been with PVD coating.

The new durable coating is the same as what e.g. Apple and many watch and jewellery brands use on their metal to increase durability and extend the lifespan of their metal products.

This new technology ensures that the metal is more durable, resistant to scratches, and corrosion-resistant than ever before. This way, the metal on buckles, watches, and jewellery etc., does not peel or lose color from regular use.

PVD Belægning på spænder

Buckle with PVD coating on the left, buckle without PVD coating on the right

Why PVD?

PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition and is a process where a thin film of metal or ceramic is deposited on a substrate, which in our case is our buckles. This process involves a vacuum chamber and a heat source that vaporises the metal and creates a film that binds to the surface of the belt buckle.

It’s a bit nerdy – read more about the technology in the bottom section or watch this video for a visual explanation.

However, the benefits of PVD coating are easier to grasp:

  • The coating is much more durable than traditional surface treatments.
  • PVD coating is more uniform and can create a wide range of colours and different finishes.
  • With PVD coating on our belt buckles, we are able to offer our customers products that last longer, look better, and require less maintenance.

We are excited to finally present this upgrade – it has been a long time coming. We will continue to work on finding new and innovative ways to make our products better. Of course, it is always possible to provide constructive feedback to us at hi@nordformstore.com.

@nordformdk

Scratch test – PVD coating edition✂️ Our belt buckles are now with PVD coating 🖤🩶 PVD stands for Physical Vapour Deposition and insures that our buckles are less prone to get scratches and show other signs of use #pvdcoating #pvd #metalcoating #nordformdk #nordformstore #fyp #foryoupage #reasonableluxury #highquality #leatherbelt #beltbuckle

♬ original sound – Nordform

How long will PVD coating last?

The answer lies in the intricacies of its bond with the underlying substrate. The durability of PVD coating is directly proportional to the strength of its adherence to the base metal, unveiling a critical determinant of its endurance.

PVD coatings, widely employed in applications requiring resilience against elevated temperatures and substantial wear, undergo a unique journey of endurance. The duration of this journey is contingent upon the nature of the product being coated and the extent of its exposure to heat.

The quality of the PVD coating plays a pivotal role in augmenting both durability and aesthetic appeal. However, its lifespan is not a universal constant but is influenced by a spectrum of factors and the level of care invested in its maintenance.

Various elements come into play when determining the expected lifetime_

  1. Material Quality: Opting for high-grade PVD coatings tends to be synonymous with a longer-lasting investment. Conversely, inferior materials may succumb to degradation more swiftly.
  2. Coating Thickness: Generally, a thicker coating translates to prolonged endurance, serving as a robust shield against scratches and wear, thereby safeguarding the watch’s longevity.
  3. Usage Habits: The coating’s lifespan is intricately linked to the products exposure to harsh conditions. Frequent encounters with challenging environments may curtail its endurance.
  4. Maintenance: A products lifespan is inherently tied to the care it receives. Regular cleaning and delicate handling contribute significantly to prolonging the PVD coating’s resilience.
  5. Environmental Conditions: The impact of extreme temperatures, UV light, and corrosive substances cannot be overstated. Exposure to such elements can hasten the wear and tear of PVD coatings.

Considering these factors, the projected lifespan of PVD coatings can be delineated:

  • Standard Use: In the context of typical daily wear, PVD coatings generally exhibit resilience for a duration of 1 to 3 years before exhibiting signs of wear.
  • Gentle Use: With meticulous maintenance and limited exposure to challenging conditions, the coating’s lifespan can extend beyond 5 years, underscoring the importance of a thoughtful and measured approach to usage.

Does PVD scratch easily?

PVD coatings aren’t scratch-prone; they’re built tough for both looks and durability. Whether it’s on watches, door handles, or knives, these coatings, brings superior hardness and resistance to wear versus other coating methods.

PVD-coated products might pick up a scratch or two over the years, but they outshine non-coated buddies in lasting power. Ranging from 0.25 to 5 microns thick, the PVD coating keeps products fine looking for a solid 10 years or more with a little TLC.

What’s cool is that PVD-coated items, be it buckles or other stuff, resist tarnishing and corrosion. They’re the superheroes of lasting longer and looking better.

Maintaining is easy – mild soap and warm water work wonders. Just skip the harsh chemicals and abrasives to keep the PVD intact.