Increasing demand for in-house research and development resources has led Valmet General to develop its new range of small-scale laboratory and pilot type ’Mini-Lab & Holosec’ vacuum coaters. This reflects an evolving market trend of customers wanting to buy smaller, versatile machines in both special (sputtering, e-beam, etc.) and standard (evaporation) types of metallising.
The company says the benefit of this recent, new activity in the market will be more rapid improvements in coatings on a wide range of flexible substrates.
Currently, Valmet General’s vacuum coating development machines include a 1 metre wide 3 zone sputter coater, a 2 metre wide high speed evaporation coater, a plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) machine and a roll-to-roll evaporation box coater.
These research and development machines are particularly suited and designed for special converting applications, particularly high-value coatings such as anti-static, anti-reflective and other conductive coatings within the ’specials’ market. Other examples are clear barrier coatings for food packaging as well as security type coatings such as holograms and de-metallised films.
The Mini-Lab machine will operate at speeds of between 0.01 and 5m/min. It will have a maximum web width of 400mm, with a maximum roll diameter of 450mm, on a 3″ core. The machine contains two cathodes, which are either single planar cathodes, dual rotatable cathodes or combinations of both.
The Mini-Lab vacuum coater is ideally suited to a laboratory type environment – its overall design and
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