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IVD aluminium vacuum-coating

IVD aluminium vacuum-coating

High purity aluminium coatings

What do we associate with the northern lights?

What do we associate with the northern lights?

In the IVD process, a plasma glow discharge is clearly visible in the coating chamber as violet light. The glow reminds us of auroras that arise when electrically charged particles of the solar wind from the magnetosphere strike oxygen atoms and nitrogen atoms in the lower layers of the earth's atmosphere and ionise them.

The process

IVD aluminium vacuum coating was originally developed by McDonnell Douglas as a replacement for cadmium treatment of steel and titanium components.

The sequence of the coating process is as follows: First, the parts are degreased to remove cutting or dewatering oils. The next process step is a fine-grained sandblasting. On the one hand, the surface is mechanically cleaned, and on the other hand, a profile with a large surface is produced. The latter supports the physical bonding of the coating to the substrate.

During the process, the parts are held on an electrically conductive frame in a vacuum coating chamber. The parts are moved into the coating chamber, which is evacuated. An inert gas is introduced into the chamber and an electric voltage is applied. This leads to a plasma glow discharge, which is clearly visible as a violet glow in the chamber. The result is a very clean surface on the substrate.

Once this process is completed, the actual coating process can begin. Aluminium wire is now fed to a series of overheated ceramic crucibles. A high voltage is applied to produce very high temperatures and the aluminium evaporates to an electrically charged mist. The negatively charged aluminium atoms move through the vacuum and deposit on the parts to be coated, which are electrically "grounded".

After coating with IVD aluminium, the parts have a dull grey appearance and must be handled with care. The next step is to close the pores in the outer surface of the coating by glass bead blasting. The parts may be used "as plated" or, more frequently, the pure aluminium surface is converted to an aluminium chromate layer by a chemical conversion coating.

  • Characteristics

    IVD aluminium offers good corrosion protection even at high temperatures. The coating can serve to prevent bimetallic or galvanic corrosion. The corrosion resistance can be increased in all cases by a subsequent chemical conversion coating.

    Another big advantage of IVD aluminium vacuum coating is that it can be painted with very little surface pretreatment. The surface is suitable for many paints, including commonly prescribed liquid-tight epoxy resin-based primers and dry film lubricants.

  • Base Materials

    Primarily, components made of steel alloys and titanium materials are coated.

  • Field of Application

    Coating with IVD aluminium is primarily used in the aerospace and defence industries.

    One example is the coating of titanium fasteners to which aluminium components are attached.

    The process is certified for NADCAP and for a number of large aerospace companies including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce, Safran and UTC.

    The components that are coated for these end users can vary in size and complexity to a surprising extent, from small fasteners to larger components such as airframe components, engine components, and composite assemblies.

Product enquiry

If you would like to tell us something about the product presented here, you are welcome to do so. Your enquiry, your comment, your wishes will be forwarded directly to your personal contact person.

More Surface Treatments

  • Wet paint and lubricant coatings

    Wet paint and lubricant coatings

    Special processes from England

    to the process
    Wet paint and lubricant coatings


    Optimisation of frictional processes by means of specially structured metal surfaces

    to the process
  • Metals


    Galvanically deposited metal layers

    to the process
  • Passivation


    Extremely thin layers for optimal priming

    to the process

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Aalberts Industries