Thin layers of specific materials can be used to change the characteristics or design of metal or plastic parts.
This can support a higher robustness, a lower friction, or a different design of the parts.
Examples can be found in different industries like automotive, mobile devices or cosmetics.
When we look at the automotive sector, energy saving could be achieved, among other things, by reducing friction of motor components or replacing metal parts with plastic components to reduce weight.
Thin layers of special coating materials could reduce friction losses in car motors or improve the appearance of plastic parts in car interiors. Other examples of decorative coatings are the metallic appearance of mobile phone covers or cases for cosmetics.
Related to wear protection coating, resistant thin layers are used for example to harden the surface of tools to protect them against wear and increase their lifetime.
These thin layers for wear protection or decorative coatings are usually applied by physical vapor deposition (PVD), evaporation or electric ARC-evaporation processes. These processes take place under vacuum conditions in the pressure range of 10-3 to 10-4 mbar. Typical high vacuum pumps are turbomolecular vacuum pumps like the TURBOVAC family or oil diffusion pumps.