Metal and alloys are very durable and rugged, which often make them the ideal choice for high-pressure applications or as the material of choice when preventing part failure is critical. These types of parts, components, and even devices include those used in the aerospace, automotive, medical device and the optoelectronics industries.

However, metal or even some polymeric formulations are not always safe or effective for use without a protective coating. Ceramic coatings can be used in these types of applications to prevent fretting corrosion as well as to provide lower friction considerations and to enhance lubricity.

In the medical industry, specific types of ceramic coatings can also be used to increase biocompatibility, to reduce tissue damage during implanting and to assist in preventing infections and healing delays after the procedure.

The Basic Procedure
As with any type of coating, it is important to correctly match the base metal with the correct options in ceramic coatings based on the specific requirements and use of the component.

There are several steps to the process, and some coatings will have slightly different aspects of the procedure. In general, the application of the coatings will include:

* Surface prep – the base metal or material has to be cleaned and primed for the application of the coating. This priming requirement is critical for the coating to correctly bond to the surface.

* Application – there are several options for applying the ceramic finish to the part. This is usually done at low temperatures to avoid any impact on the internal structure of the base metal. The application method may include IBAD or ion beam assisted deposition, E-beam evaporation or ion sputtering.

The application must be completed to all requirements and specifications of the manufacturer, and it is typically completed in a clean room environment. In all applications, these tolerances will need to be maintained to ensure full compliance throughout the development of the prototype as well as for all production runs that follow.

For more information on the specific ceramic coatings and the processes used at N2 Biomedical, talk to the experts today. To find out more, visit us online at www.n2bio.com.

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