What is Roll-to-Roll Vacuum Coating?
Roll-to-roll vacuum (R2R) coating systems range from very small laboratory coaters having webs 4 inches wide, to large units having a web width of 120 inches or 3 meters.
Typical commercial units coat webs that are 40 to 60 inches wide, and the wider webs provide better economy of scale if equipment is optimally operated. In large modern roll-to-roll vacuum systems, a roll of web is loaded and threaded automatically.
One roll may weigh between 1,000 and 7,700 lbs. and have an area between 10,000 to 90,000 square meters. The material is coated during one evacuation cycle, a semicontinuous process that coats these massive rolls in one continuous conveyance. Films and coatings deposited in various vacuum processes range in thickness from about 1 nm to about 600 nm.
To promote adhesion of the coating to the film, modify nucleation and affect growth morphology, a layer is often deposited prior to the primary thin-film deposit. Typically, such a layer has a thickness ranging from 0.1 to 10 nm and is often referred to as an adhesion or “seed”.
In the field of electronic devices, roll-to-roll processing, also known as web processing, reel-to-reel processing or R2R, is the process of creating electronic devices on a roll of flexible plastic metal foil, glass, or ceramic. In other fields predating this use, it can refer to any process of applying coatings, printing, or performing other processes starting with a roll of a flexible material and re-reeling after the process to create an output roll.
These processes and others, such as sheeting, can be grouped together under the general term converting. When the rolls of material have been coated, laminated, or printed they can be subsequently slit to their finished size on a slitter rewinder.
Roll-to-roll processing of large-area electronic devices also reduces manufacturing cost. Most notable would be solar cells, which are still expensive for most markets due to the high cost of installation, storage and integration into existing power networks. Other applications could arise which take advantage of the flexible nature of the substrates, such as electronics embedded into clothing, large-area flexible displays, and roll-up portable displays.
What are some uses of R2R coating?
- Window Film
- Touch Panels
- Flexible Electronics
- Security / Holographic
- Barrier Films
- Decorative Packaging
- Safety Films
What types of R2R vacuum coating does VDI offer?
At VDI, we offer a wide array of vacuum R2R coating. We have manufacturing assets that use evaporative, sputtering and electron beam technology. This gives us maximum flexibility for designing a coating that will exceed your needs. All of our machines can deposit materials as wide as 74 inches. VDI can deposit metals, oxides and complex multi layered configurations to suit any need.
What type of R2R coating does Madico offer?
In addition to vacuum coating, Madico has three coating and laminating assets that use solvent-based formulations to apply anti-scratch coatings, laminating adhesives, pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA) or other functional coatings. Our lines can coat up to 74 inches wide. Madico can cure thermally or with UV light. Additionally, coatings can be applied with Mayer rods, slot dye or comma coating also called knife over roll.
With more than 40 years of precision coating and laminating, Madico®, a subsidiary of VDI’s parent company, Lintec Corp., is a world leader in coating, laminating, and converting of films in wide width, roll-to-roll format.
Our products are complex, multi-layered, and engineered to our customers’ precise specifications — and complete satisfaction.
From adhesive, heat seal, and scratch resistant coatings to superhydrophobic, anti-microbial and thin film deposition, superior coatings can be achieved through Madico’s range of manufacturing capabilities.