Lifetime Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Coating

(Hard Coatings Such as TiN And ZrN)

In life, art and manufactured products, we often strive to achieve two ideals: strength and beauty. Oftentimes, one of these qualities can only be achieved at the expense of the other.

Our technology and skill enables us to provide PVD Finishes that combine durability and timeless beauty.

We are proud to own and operate one of the largest-volume physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating machines in the world. It is a coating technology that is one of the best on the planet for its brilliant, long-lasting results and environmentally-friendly process.

We stand behind PVD technology so much that we invested over $2 million into enhancing our state-of-the-art coating center. We are confident that once you see the difference PVD can make, you will never choose another coating process again.
— Charles C. Butler

This process can be of benefit to many industries that are looking for long-lasting permanent coatings, including industries that you may not readily associate with metal-coating needs. Our clients include manufacturers of surgical instruments, medical devices, dental equipment, food processing equipment, sporting goods, hardware and plumbing as well as automotive OEM parts, and many others.

Clients and Applications

Our PVD has applications to manufactures of:

  • Surgical instruments

  • Medical devices

  • Dental equipment

  • Food processing equipment

  • Sporting goods

  • Hardware and plumbing

  • Automotive parts

  • Industrial tooling

  • Consumer goods

  • Consumer electronics

  • And more

PVD Usages

PVD coatings can be used for:

  • Decorative coating

  • Functional coating

  • Tool coating


PVD coatings are too thin to affect part tolerances, and in general will reflect the surface roughness of the base material. However, it is often necessary to plate the part surface with nickel and chromium prior to applying the PVD coatings. The combination can be thick enough to affect tolerances.

Component Materials

PVD coatings can be deposited on most metals, though some require a base of nickel and chromium.

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel parts are normally coated without any base layers.

  • Steel: While it is easy to apply PVD coatings to steel, steel components are more often nickel/chrome electroplated before PVD processing for better corrosion resistance.

  • Brass and copper: As with steel, it is common to nickel/chrome plate copper and brass before PVD coating to provide better corrosion resistance.

Reduce Costs and Lead Time

Simplify your supply chain and reduce your manufacturing lead times by using our American-made PVD coatings. 

Custom Colors for a Competitive Advantage

We can develop new colors to differentiate your products from your competition. We can also develop new functional coatings for your products.

What Is Physial Vapor Deposition (PVD)?

VaporTech PVD Coating Equipment

VaporTech PVD Coating Equipment

Physial vapor deposition (PVD) is a generic term for vacuum plating processes involving bombardment of the surface by energetic ions to enhance coating adhesion and improve coating structure.

Thin-Film Deposition is a vacuum process using an energy source to vaporize material and deposit — atom by atom — an ultra-thin layer onto a part’s surface. The coating can change the properties of the surface of a component, including the color, wear resistance, or friction coefficient.

It is a common industrial process. One of the early applications was to apply very hard metal nitride coatings to cutting tools to extend tool life. The process has since been modified to provide a wide variety of coatings that are hard, wear resistant, and decorative. Today, metal nitrides such as titanium nitride (TiN) zirconium nitride (ZrN) and chromium nitride (CrN) are applied on faucets, door hardware, lighting fixtures, and a wide variety of other surfaces where long lasting finishes are desired.

The process used by American Plating and PVD is a common form of PVD called cathodic arc PVD, or CA-PVD. Our process begins by putting the parts in a vacuum chamber and heating them up to modest temperatures to drive water vapor off of the surfaces (it can effect the coating adhesion and color). The chamber is backfilled with gases, usually argon and nitrogen. We then draw an arc on a metal cylinder in the center of the chamber. The arc is so intense on the metal surface that it pulls metal atoms off of the surface and strips off some of their electrons, forming a metal ion plasma. An electric field applied to the parts pulls the metal out of the plasma onto the surfaces with such force that they are metallurgically bonded to the part, where they react with the nitrogen to form the desired nitride.

If the metal is titanium, the resultant coating, TiN, is dark gold. If the metal is zirconium, the resultant coating, ZrN, is light gold. Chromium yields a silvery-colored CrN. A wide variety of colors can be achieved by adding other gases during the deposition, such as oxygen and acetylene.

We Offer Over130 Fine Metal Finishes