Finest Metal Plating, Coating, and Polishing

Lifetime PVD Coatings

Hard Coatings including Titanium Nitride (TiN) and Zirconium Nitride (ZrN)

In life, art, and manufactured products, we often strive to achieve two ideals: strength and beauty. Oftentimes, one of these qualities can only be achieved at the expense of the other. Our technology and skill enables us to provide Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coatings that combine durability and timeless beauty.

Our in-house, state-of-the-art, high-capacity PVD machine (installed in 1999)

Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is a highly technical process in which a solid metal is vaporized within a vacuum and deposited atom-by-atom onto a metal product or surface. This process forms an ultra-thin, bonded metal layer that improves the appearance, durability, and/or function. Such thin-film coatings can change the properties of the surface of a component, including the color, wear resistance, or friction coefficient.

We have been providing PVD coatings since 1999, and we are one of the original independent PVD coating companies in America.

We are proud to own and operate one of the largest-volume PVD coating machines in the world. PVD is a coating technology that is one of the best on the planet for its brilliant, long-lasting results and environmentally-friendly process.

We stand behind PVD technology so much that we invested over $2 million into enhancing our state-of-the-art coating center. We are confident that once you see the difference PVD can make, you will never choose another coating process again.

Charles C. Butler, Founder

Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is one of the finest methods for creating brilliant, long-lasting permanent coatings — and is an environmentally-friendly process. We own and operate one of the highest capacity PVD coating machines in the world.

The PVD coating process can be of benefit to many industries that are looking for long-lasting permanent coatings, including industries that you may not readily associate with metal-coating needs. Our clients include manufacturers of surgical instruments, medical devices, dental equipment, food processing equipment, sporting goods, hardware and plumbing as well as automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, and many others.

Advantages of PVD Thin-film Coatings

Thin-film advantages for manufacturers

Thin film compared to powder coating

Thin film compared to electroplating

Durable Diamond-Like Carbon Coatings

Our Diamond-Like Carbon Coatings are diamond-like thin-film coatings applied either through a physical or chemical vapor deposition process. Our PVD coating equipment can be configured to apply both metal-based PVD finishes as well as diamond-like carbon coatings.

Advantages of Diamond-Like Carbon Coatings

Reduce Costs and Lead Time

Simplify your supply chain and reduce your manufacturing lead times by using our American-made PVD coatings.

PVD Usages

PVD coatings can be used for:

PVD Applications

Our high-quality PVD coatings are ideal for manufacturers of the following premium products:

  • Faucetry and plumbing
  • Decorative hardware
  • Automotive parts
  • Industrial tooling
  • Consumer goods
  • Consumer electronics
  • Surgical instruments
  • Medical devices
  • Dental equipment
  • Food processing equipment
  • Cutlery
  • Sporting goods

PVD Performance Coating Source

Our system’s coating source technology is the most advanced of its kind, and can accurately and evenly deposit most electrically conductive materials.

The application of pure, alloyed or reacted-metal coatings will give your product the look and functionality you require. This is because our utilization of the source material is greater than 80 percent versus 25-30 percent for conventional sources.

System Components and Configuration

Our PVD coating system utilizes the highest-quality, field-proven subsystems and components, from diffusion vacuum pumps to cold traps and mechanical roughing pumps. Each subsystem has been developed for optimal reliability and uptime.

A servo-driven throttle valve and mass flow controllers direct gas flow. The pumping system is constructed of 304-series stainless steel, and a separate water and air cabinet contains flow interlocks and alarms.

Our PVD machine’s gear-driven parts rack holder offers dual-axis planetary motion around the source, which means we can deliver thorough, even coverage of the most complex parts. Plus, the system’s programmable logic controller monitors each project’s key parameters for repeatable, consistent operation. Furthermore, all instrumentation is featured on a single vertical rack along with a touchscreen computer interface for accurate operation and monitoring.

The Process

PVD utilizes gases instead of liquids to produce “Lifetime-Anti-Tarnish” finishes that exceed current industry standards and are guaranteed for life.

PVD gives us the flexibility to coat a wide variety of substrates, including low-temperature materials like plastics and plated zinc. Our process is entirely customizable, taking everything into account from low- or high-volume jobs to specialized coatings that exactly match the colors or materials that you require.

And because no liquid chemicals are involved, the PVD process does not release any Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like other standard coating processes, making it an extremely green choice for your production needs.


PVD coatings are too thin to affect part tolerances, and in general will reflect the surface roughness of the base material. However, it is often necessary to plate the part surface with nickel and chromium prior to applying the PVD coatings. The combination can be thick enough to affect tolerances.

Component Materials

PVD coatings can be deposited on most metals, though some require a base of nickel and chromium.

Our VT 3000 American-made PVD chamber can both arc and sputter, and because we have state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to coat the following materials:

  • Brass
  • Steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Aluminum
  • Pewter
  • Chrome-plated plastic
  • Zinc

PVD Colors

PVD colors and hues are based on the metal vaporization targets and ratios of specialized gasses. Below are some of our PVD colors. We can also develop special bespoke colors for your particular needs.

Custom Colors for a Competitive Advantage

We can develop new colors to differentiate your products from your competition. We can also develop new functional coatings for your products.

What Is Physial Vapor Deposition (PVD)?

The Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) process takes a solid metal, vaporizes it in a vacuum, and deposits it, atom-by-atom, onto the surface of a part. This process forms an ultra-thin, bonded metal layer that improves the appearance, durability, and/or function of a part or product.

Thin-film coatings can change the properties of the surface of a component, including the color, wear resistance, or friction coefficient.

One of the early applications was to apply very hard metal nitride coatings to cutting tools to extend tool life. The process has since been modified to provide a wide variety of coatings that are hard, wear resistant, and decorative. Today, metal nitrides such as titanium nitride (TiN) zirconium nitride (ZrN) and chromium nitride (CrN) are applied on faucets, door hardware, lighting fixtures, and a wide variety of other surfaces where long lasting finishes are desired.

Our in-house PVD coating machine — VT-3000 System by Vapor Technologies, Inc.

The process used by American Metal Finishing is a common form of PVD called cathodic arc PVD, or CA-PVD. Our process begins by putting the parts in a vacuum chamber and heating them up to modest temperatures to drive water vapor off of the surfaces (it can effect the coating adhesion and color). The chamber is backfilled with gases, usually argon and nitrogen. We then draw an arc on a metal cylinder in the center of the chamber. The arc is so intense on the metal surface that it pulls metal atoms off of the surface and strips off some of their electrons, forming a metal ion plasma. An electric field applied to the parts pulls the metal out of the plasma onto the surfaces with such force that they are metallurgically bonded to the part, where they react with the nitrogen to form the desired nitride.

If the metal is titanium, the resultant coating, TiN, is dark gold. If the metal is zirconium, the resultant coating, ZrN, is light gold. Chromium yields a silvery-colored CrN. A wide variety of colors can be achieved by adding other gases during the deposition, such as oxygen and acetylene.

At American Metal Finishing, we employ the state-of-the-art VT-3000 Low Temperature Arc Vapor Deposition High-Volume Coating System, developed and built in the USA by Vapor Technologies, Inc. This is one of the most versatile and highly efficient PVD-coating systems on the planet, and produces the lowest-cost, highest-quality vacuum-based coatings available.

Expansive Vacuum Chambers

Our sizable vacuum chambers give us the flexibility to coat larger pieces, or alternatively to utilize continuous in-line systems for high-capacity production jobs.

Guaranteed Performance and Durability

Our PVD coated products are resistant to abrasions, and can even withstand repeated scouring with steel wool without tarnishing. This incredible durability means that your products will still look fresh out of the box even after many years of use.

We have tested our PVD finishes against over 100 common household products, from liquid cleaners and scouring powders to aerosols, lotions and gels. Not even highly corrosive salt air and sea mist can damage our PVD coating.