Idvac Ltd.: Vacuum metallized black coating w...
Idvac Ltd.

Vacuum metallized black coating with no inks or dyes

 Fig. 1: Black metallized coating
Fig. 1: Black metallized coating

A new innovative product to the security, decorative, textile, packaging and solar market has been introduced by the vacuum R&D specialist Idvac Ltd., Manchester/UK. The new product is an elegant black coating with bright metallic reflection finish.

A special thermal evaporation vacuum metallizing process has been developed for the production of the black coating to add a bright black luster onto plain or embossed films or on textiles for heat absorption.

Black colored coatings on films such as polyester or textiles have numerous uses in industrial applications including heat absorption, filters, solar and for other optical purposes. The traditional method of producing black color is to use black ink or pigment having a dispersing carbon black in solvent or water. This produces thick black coat with dull finish. Solvents used in the dyeing process are not environmentally friendly and require heat to remove them. Also, solvents may be difficult or expensive to remove from films or textiles and to reclaim or to dispose of. The presence of residual solvent in the dyed film may affect subsequent processes such as vacuum metallization or printing.

Fig. 3 SEM picture of Black coating on textured surface

Unlike using dyes, inks or pigments, Idvac process is dry and done in a roll to roll vacuum metallizer. The process is environmentally friendly and does not involve any wet chemicals or solvents. Idvac black coating consists of a single smooth thin layer of vacuum evaporated material which result in a bright black finish. The black coating, which is formed on the film side, is adherent, stable and environmentally durable. The thin coat can conform to the contours of the very small texture thus allowing some light reflection and absorption at particular wavelengths. The product can be used for hot stamping or for laminating on films or textiles. The process can be combined with de-metallizing and aluminum or copper metallizing to produce bimetallic bright silver/black effects, copper/black effects, etc. Such effects can be used for security documents, labels or as heat absorption in textile.

The new innovative process can be retrofitted onto a standard vacuum roll to roll metallizer with minimum modification and without affecting the metallizer’s ability to produce other coatings including standard aluminum metallizing.

Since its foundation in 2004, Idvac Ltd. has been successful in researching various markets, developing processes and introducing innovative vacuum process know-how and technologies for various products including water repellent, reflective and durable textiles. Idvac offer R&D services to develop new, innovative vacuum coatings or processes for its customers. Soon, Idvac will have the capabilities of offering narrow width R2R toll metallizing for various metallized products including black finish.


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