Thin Flexible Polymer Substrates Coated by Thick Films in Roll-to-Roll Vacuum Coaters

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by G. Tullo, General Vacuum Equipment

Vacuum coating is one of the most efficient technologies available for the deposition of layers of various materials on polymer substrates. In the industrial environment there is the constant demand of increasing the thickness of the layers that can be deposited under vacuum while decreasing the thickness of the substrate. On the other hand the deposition of thick coating layers on thin
polymer films is a very challenging task because of the extremely high thermal load induced into the substrate by the process. This presentation illustrates the results of an experimental and theoretical investigation about the possibility of depositing thick copper and aluminium layers of good quality on thin plastic webs by thermal resistive evaporation. A set of tests have been carried on inside a vacuum web coater especially designed and built for the development of new products. A new web coating thermal model has been elaborated in order to predict the temperature profile of the substrate along the process. Theoretical and experimental results have been favorably compared under different operating conditions.

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