PVD coating is a finishing method for knife blades that increases their resistance to wear and tear. PVD is short for physical vapor deposition. It is a collective term for a group of coating methods in which the basic material is made gaseous.
Unlike chemical vapor deposition, this process is physical. The gaseous material is then applied to the substrate where it condenses into a protective layer. The remove layer and applied coating are only a few nanometers or micrometers thick. Physical vapor deposition is also used to remove the nitride layer from steel. However, the process can only be used on steel types with annealing temperatures above 500°C, because the subsequent coating happens at approximately 450°C. This includes knife steel.
There are several deposition methods, mainly vapor deposition and cathode sputtering. One or more PVD layers with a thickness of just a few nanometers or micrometers can be applied to the material. If a single gradient layer is applied, its properties (such as hardness and resilience) are controlled by adding other substances, e.g. carbon. If a multilayer coating is applied, its properties derive from the combination of up to 2000 individual layers, none thicker than a few nanometers.
PVD coating is the last step in the finishing process of premium knife blades. Since the applied layer or layers are extremely thin, they do not change the dimensions of the blade. Depending on its composition, a PVD coating can significantly increase the blade\'s resistance to wear and tear.