PETER BOWATER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER BOWATER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plasma vapour deposition. Worker watching an automated plasma torch coating a component by plasma vapour deposition (PVD). PVD introduces alloying elements onto the top layer of a metal. The plasma is a hot stream of ions of the alloying metals needed, and is directed toward the component by an electric field. The ions in the plasma can penetrate a few dozen microns into the surface, creating a tough outer layer. Consequently, the component can be made of a mild steel that is easy to machine, but it has good wear resistance due to its coating. Photographed in Java, Indonesia.
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