Metallized biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP), polyester (PE) and other polymer films are widely used in the modern packaging and in the electronic industry. The metallization of a substrate creates a gas barrier for the flexible packaging material, guaranteeing the freshness of the packed goods and extending the shelf life in consumer products. The electronic industry uses the conductive layers for the manufacturing of devices such as capacitors, flexible circuit boards and touch panel screens.
Metallization is a process based on the deposition of metal vapor under high vacuum to coat a substrate with a thin layer of aluminum. Ceramic evaporation boats are the most widespread source for aluminum deposition. As they have got a major influence on the metallization process the right boat choice is essential for the best possible quality of the final product.
Evaporation boats are made mainly out of two components, Boron Nitride (BN) and Titanium Diboride (TiB2). TiB2 is a metallic component and therefore a good electrical and heat conductor. It is easily wetable by molten aluminum. BN is an electrical insulator that is used to adjust the boat resistivity at the required level. The resistivity is one characteristic parameter for the boat specification. By regulating the TiB2 and BN ratio the resistivity of the evaporation boats can be adjusted and controlled.
Suitable for all vacuum-web coaters ESK offers a wide range of evaporation boats for your individual metallization requirements.
The key requirements are a long boat life together with a high evaporation rate (in gAl / min) which is linked directly to a large evaporation area. The evaporation area can be influenced by the modification of the boat surface or the boat materials.
ESK’s LaserMet technology is an example, how to enlarge the evaporation area by a surface modification. The laser treatment of the boat leads to an enrichment of TiB2 along the lasered lines and thus makes initial wetting by aluminum very easy. This initial wetting is crucial for the overall boat performance, because the achievable evaporation rate is dependent on the pool size. A high evaporation rate results in a high web-speed. Also an aluminum pool over the whole boat surface cools the boat due to the high amount of energy the liquid Al requires for evaporating. A boat cooled on the entire surface is subjected to less heat stress and therefore has a longer life time.
With more than 40 years of experience in the metallization industry, ESK has become the expert in the field of ceramic evaporation boats. With intensive research and development activities and a close cooperation with equipment makers and customers ESK has contributed considerably to the current state of technology and will continue to realize improved boats in order to meet the market and the customers’ needs.
ESK is worldwide recognized as number one supplier of evaporation boats. In the Russian market ESK is a well established supplier; amongst its customers are the leading producers of metallized film for the packaging and capacitor industry.
ESK will further increase its presence in the Russian market. Our experts offer the best technical support ranging from the choice of the right evaporation boat to theoretical and practical technical trainings of operators at the customers’ sites.
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