In all PVD processes, the parts in the vacuum chamber to be coated are first heated, and then ion etched by bombardment with argon ions,to create a pure and clean metal surface, free from any atomic contamination - an essential condition for optimal coating adhesion.
A high negative voltage is then applied to the sputtering sources, which contain the coating material. The resulting electrical gas discharge leads to the formation of positive argon ions, which are accelerated towards, and atomize the coating material. Evaporated, atomised metal in the gaseous phase then reacts with a gas containing the non-metallic component of the hard coating.
The end result is the deposition of a thin, compact coating with the desired structure and composition.