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FAQ

FAQ

Company Information

What is the production capacity of the company?

Are produced goods made in Italy?

Does the company employ the use of roto-barrel plants?

What types of plants are used in the production processes?

Who are the company’s key clients?

In which sectors does the company operate?

What are the maximum dimensions of the processing baths?

General information

After providing a raw item for processing, how long before I receive the finished product?

Is there a minimum batch quantity limit?

Does the company offer a repair service?

Do you have a price list?

How do I arrange to visit your company?

Is it possible to obtain a sample test?

How is your packaging handled?

Do you carry out custom orders on request?

Materials

What processing materials does your company use?

What type of materials does your company plate in chrome?

What is the difference between chains in aluminium, light alloy and copper?

Does your company carry out property verification testing of materials?

What is the ideal use for each material?

Treatments and finishes

What is the difference between the various available finishes?

What is meant by surface finishes of metals?

What is a galvanic (electroplated) finish?

What are galvanic treatments?

What treatments do you carry out on small metal parts?

What are the principal processing phases in galvanic treatments?

What are the pros and cons of electroplating?

How does the electroplating process behave?

Why choose galvanic treatments?

What are the operational phases of galvanic treatments?

Why are galvanic treatments necessary?

Which is more resistant: nickel electroplating or nickel-free electroplating?

Does the company offer services involving thermic treatment and electroplating for steel?

What types of sealants are used?

Can the subsequent curing of leather damage chains affixed to handbags, straps, shoes and clothing?

What is the company’s waste percentage?

What is powder-coating?

What is industrial zinc-coating?

What are the principal advantages of zinc-coating?

What are the principal phases of nickel-coating?

Should transparent layers be applied after coating?

What is anodisation?

What duration do anodised surfaces have?

How mandatory is galvanic separation?

What are the applications and advantages of galvano-technical processes?

What is the difference between PVD treatment, metallicisation and galvanic treatment?

How should support surfaces be prepared prior to PVD treatments?

What is the maximum and minimum number of items which can be subject to PVD treatments?

Is the PVD treatment duration the same for metal items as it is for supports to be layered?

Is it possible for assembled details to be layered in PVD?

Is it possible to have PVD layers in both glossy and matt finish?

What are the PVD layer processing temperatures?

Regulations

Do you have any reference rules or conditions?

Is it true that European legislation foresees the elimination of hexavalent chromium?

Are chains manufactured to prevailing international regulations?

Do you operate in accordance with regulatory bodies including the Quality Management Systems as regulated by the Italian National Unification, Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione (UNI)

Testing

Which tests do you carry out to verify product quality?

FAQ X22

What kinds of materials can items in deposition processing of items consist of?

In principle, PVD allows the use of substrates of any material which is compatible with appropriate vacuum deposition processes (generally, delicate materials require delicate processes). X-PLATING has optimised its plants and processes to work on steel, brass and zamak.

Are any particular processes required before PVD processing?

Items in brass and zamak require a phase of galvanisation prior to PVD deposition. There are no additional steps required in the process where stainless steel is used. It is worth noting that the PVD layer mimics the surface of the item, so any polishing, satinising or sandblasting shoud be carried out before the deposition stage.

Why do brass and zamak require a galvanic base layer?

Even though PVD layers are extremely resistant to environmental chemical wear, the structure of deposition, by nature, presents the likelihood of the substrate experiencing corrosion. To avoid this problem, a galvanic barrier layer is applied from which it is possible, if requested, for the item to have a glossy finish.

Do PVD layers contain irritants or allergens?

PVD layering proposed by X-PLATING does not utilise any materials containing irritants or allergens. Furthermore, each developed finish is verified to ensure that the release of metallic by-products is within regulation limits. The majority of materials deposited are validated for application in the medical and food industries.

Are there limitations to the geometry of the items to be layered?

There are no limitations to the geometry of items to be layered, as long as their dimensions allow them to be inserted in the appropriate processing plant. It’s worth keeping in mind that the actual PVD deposition occurs in the line of fire. In other words, the layer increases only on the exposed surfaces.

How is the PVD plant set up?

The PVD plant consists of a vacuum chamber in which the deposition occurs. In this chamber, there is a carrousel on which items to be treated, are mounted. The carousel provides a cyclic motion allowing all mounted items to obtain a uniform application of PVD. Source inlets which provide the release of PVD material are located on the sides of the chamber.

How does the deposition occur?

Once attached to the frame of the carousel, the items are thoroughly cleaned and dried to remove any residue or contamination. The items are then inserted in batches into the PVD plants, after which the air is removed from the vacuum chamber until an atmospheric pressure of one hundred-millionths is reached. At this point, the deposition phase has begun. Once the process is complete, the frame containing the layered items is removed and the plant is prepared for the successive batch.

How long does it take to create a PVD layer?

Deposition usually takes approximately one to three hours to complete. Among a number of factors, the main principle is the type of layer to be realised.

At what temperature does deposition occur?

The temperature can vary from ambient levels up to 250°C for decorative finishes. Generally, processes used by X-PLATING require a temperature of between 90 and 100°C.

What environmental impact is there from PVD processing?

PVD technology has a reduced environmental impact as compared with other layering methodologies. In particular, the consumption of materials to create depositions and processing residues are extremely limited. In addition, there are no substances used which may present risks to the operators or the environment.

How is the quality of the deposition controlled?

For each batch there are key parameters verified for adhesion and colour of the deposition. Items are furthermore checked individually to verify the absence of defects like blemishes and flaws before dispatch.

What is PVD?

PVD is the acronym for Physical Vapour Deposition, a collective set of processes used to deposit thin layers of materials. It is a family of technologies which allows for the creation of surface layers on an object.

When was PVD invented?

The first studies of phenomena based on PVD date back to the fourteenth century, while the first patent for industrial use was applied for by Thomas Edison in 1892.

How does PVD work?

PVD is a process of atomistc deposition in which materials are vapourised from a solid or liquid source in the form of atoms and molecules, and transported to an intended destination surface through a controlled setting at low pressure. Once the materials reach the target surface, they solidify to create a molecular bond of extremely durable quality.

What is PVD used for?

To create coatings of thicknesses a few nanometres ‘nm’ (billionths of a metre) to a dozen or so micrometres (microns) ‘µm’. These deposits can consist of pure elements, alloys or composites. It is even possible to create multi-layered or graduated compositions.

In which industrial applications is PVD used?

Fields of application are diverse. The main uses are for the creation of films of increased durability, resistance to wear-and-tear and against corrosion for applications in manufacturing for the mechanical, aerospace and biomedical industries. PVD technologies are also used in the production of microchips, touch screens, lenses and energy-efficient glass. An emerging field of application includes decorative deposits with optimal properties to ensure mechanical resistance to wear.

Which materials can be deposited?

PVD enables practically any element on the periodic table, solid at ambient temperature, to be deposited. For decorative applications, base materials including titanium, zirconium and chrome are used, given their intrinsic resistance characteristics to combat corrosion and associated mechanical wear.

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