Q. I am interested in coating PVC foam boards with paint. I heard that vacuum coating is a process that will work for this application. Can you direct me to a company that can either supply the equipment to vacuum coat, or provide the service to vacuum coat? Are you aware of any other methods that could be used to coat these boards? E.S
A. Although I haven't done it, I believe it will work. When I had a real job, my company used to vacuum-impregnate stator coils for electric motors. The coating material, mostly epoxy at that time, completely filled the interstices between wires in the coil windings.
I'm sure you're aware that all the volatile materials, such as solvents and low-boiling monomers, will be removed from the coating when exposed to the vacuum. Therefore, your paint or coating will necessarily have to be 100% solids.
You can find a wealth of vacuum coating information at the Society of Vacuum Coaters' Web site, www.svc.org. Online, I found results for 299,000 vacuum coating systems after a quick search. Most of these will be suppliers and applicators of high-vacuum thin film evaporation and sputter deposition. I am sure one of them will either coat or supply the equipment to coat PVC foam boards with paint or direct you to someone who will.
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Masking is employed in most any metal finishing operation where only a specifically defined area of the surface of a part must be exposed to a process. Conversely, masking may be employed on a surface where treatment is either not required or must be avoided. This article covers the many aspects of masking for metal finishing, including applications, methods and the various types of masking employed.