Dolphin Solutions explain what PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) is and how you can achieve these kinds of finishes.
How does it work?
The process of PVD coating involves depositing metallic ions such as zirconium nitride and titanium nitride, formed under low vacuum conditions, on the product to be coated. Although commonly used on stainless steel products, it can be used on almost any material from brass to plastic.
What is it used for?
The process of PVD was originally developed to create a very hard-wearing, corrosion and tarnish resistant finish on metal components, used in high-performance applications in the automotive and marine industries. More recently, it has become increasingly popular in the interiors world to coat stainless steel products with an elegant metallic finish, mimicking much more expensive materials that would be impractical in the circumstances.
What products can you PVD coat?
Any stainless steel product can be PVD coated. It creates a striking focal point when used as part of a considered design and is particularly effective when used on architectural ironmongery, door furniture, washroom accessories and trims.
What are the pros/cons?
Good for high volume washrooms
No different to fitting a non-PVD alternative, so just as easy for contractors
Easy to clean (loved by janitorial teams!)
Resistant to finger-marks and water stains
High-cost (see tips to mitigate this above)
Shows up imperfections in low-quality stainless steel. Although any stainless steel item can be PVD-coated, products from the Prestige and Frost ranges produce better results.
Multi-stage process to coat means longer lead times – please enquire for details.
How is PVD coating different to powder coating?
Powder coating involves applying a coloured powder to a product electrostatically, and then baking it to harden it. Although both processes alter the appearance of a tap by changing the colour and/or finish, powder coating offers a far wider range of colours, specified using the RAL colour system – a universally used colour language. Variations from matt to gloss are available in every RAL colour, but only in a solid colour, not a metallic. There is no arbitrary colour scale for metallics, so PVD colours vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
You can read more about PVD on the Dolphin Solutions blog post