What is ePD?
Under the technology brand ePD™, Oerlikon Balzers develops integrated services, equipment and solutions for the chrome looking metallisation of plastic parts.
ePD™ is the short form for “embedded PVD for Design parts” and signifies an environment-friendly and future-oriented coating procedure. Whenever high-end metallic surfaces on plastic parts are requested - ePD™ is the clean alternative compared to today’s electro plating technologies. No harmful chemicals such as Cr6+ are used in the process. The ePD™ process is environmentally friendly due to low energy consumption and the avoidance of special waste. ePD™ coated parts are recyclable.
The new process is described as “embedded PVD for Design parts”, since the metallisation effect is sandwiched between two layers of UV lacquer. The first layer is the primer, or base coat, which serves to equalise irregularities on the surface of the injection-moulded plastic substrate. On top of this comes the actual inline PVD, which uses magnetron sputtering in a vacuum chamber for an exceptionally stable coating with high microstructure density-with no harmful ions left behind. To protect the metallized coating, a final UV coating (top coat) is applied which is extremely durable, stable and, fast-drying.
ePD™ is REACH-conform
The most notable improvement provided by ePD™ is the avoidance of harmful Cr3+ and Cr6+. As a result, the coating is REACH-conform both in production and disposal. In accordance with other EU regulations, the coated parts are recyclable.