Vacuum metalizing is a process that allows you to create a layer of metal on a substrate, usually of another material. Also referred to as "vacuum deposition", it involves heating the metal coating material until it vaporizes inside a vacuum chamber.
Vacuum metallization is a form of physical vapor deposition, a process of combining metal with a non-metallic substrate through evaporation. The most common metal used in vacuum metallization is aluminum for a variety of reasons such as cost, thermodynamic, and reflective properties.
Vacuum metalizing involves heating the coating metal to its boiling point in a vacuum chamber, then letting condensation deposit the metal on the substrate's surface. Resistance heating, electron beam, or plasma heating is used to vaporize the coating metal. Vacuum metalizing was used to deposit aluminum on the large glass mirrors of reflecting telescopes, such as with the Hale telescope.
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