Automated Fluoropolymer Coating Process

Posted May 10, 2017 3:33:04 PM
By Don Green

Controlling the Variables for Exact Coating Deposition

Automated fluoropolymer coating process.jpgWe see parts coated by all different coating vendors. The surfaces are all different—some are smooth as glass, some are rough or bumpy. How does that happen?

What determines the condition of a coated surface?

Coating deposition.

Control coating deposition, and you drive all the important appearance and dimensional parameters of a coated surface. It’s that simple.

Coating deposition refers to specific technical conditions for applying PTFE coating to a substrate. For example, the various air pressures that are used, as well as the way we handle spray guns are all critical to the appearance and dimensions of the final sprayed surface.  Precision Coating has a series of proprietary critical process input variables that drive coating deposition.

Controlling Variables

How do we control these variables? Automation.

Once we determine a set of operating conditions that yields a particular surface condition and dimension, we set our automation to produce that output, and we get the same product over and over again, with no changes. It’s all about controlling coating deposition.

For example, a customer asked us to coat their parts using PTFE with a smooth finish between 0.00015” and 0.00025” thick. Change a couple of critical variables, and speed up or slow down another, and watch thickness increase by 0.00005” per side. Change the gun to position and watch the surface texture change. Modify other variables and change the friction characteristics. Extensive DOEs (design of experiments) have been undertaken, and OQs (Operational Qualifications) implemented that provide a core set of recipes allowing us to dial-in the deposition characteristics meeting the needs of our customers.

After the spraying conditions are developed, we use a digitally controlled servo-drive pump to deliver the exact flow rate we need to a spray gun, where we use a programmable logic controller (PLC) to control the air pressures. That gives us the exact reproducibility from part-to-part, indefinitely.

We think that kind of reproducibility is important, and so do our customers.

Accommodating Your Production Needs

PCCI recently moved operations to its Hudson, MA facility and opened a new location in Costa Rica. Both facilities have automated robotics and allow us to meet the production needs of medical device manufacturers at either locale and within pressing time and cost requirements.

Take a look at our clean, state-of-the-art automated fluoropolymer coating facilities in this video.

 

 

Precision Coating Co., Inc. is one of the largest fluoropolymer and plastics coating applicators in the world, specializing in PTFE coating applications for medical devices. With more than 60 years of expertise in providing custom automated fluoropolymer coating services, we pride ourselves in understanding application requirements and selecting appropriate solutions for our customers. Contact us so we can evaluate how we can provide you with the best solution for your next order.

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