Precious Metal Repellency Treatment
Aculon®, an award-winning & proven supplier to numerous industries, introduces Precious Metal Repellency Treatment. For information on purchasing, please contact us. We also offers optimization services to assist with implementing this innovative technology into your process or product.
Precious Metal Treatment
Aculon®, an award-winning & proven supplier to numerous industries, introduces Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment, the best-in-class precious metal coating. Aculon® precious metal technology is designed to make gold, silver, platinum or palladium surfaces hydrophobic, oleophobic, and repellent to nearly any liquid. Aculon® Precious Metal Treatment is easy to apply, optically clear and ultra thin. It can even be applied via several application methods. Features include:
- Uniform Thickness (2-4nm)
- Repel Near All Liquids
- Long Lasting Repellent Performance
- Optically Clear
- Apply via Dip or Wipe
- No Capital Equipment
- Durable Treatment
- Apply in Minutes
Aculon® metal coatings are our bread and butter. Our most stable coating technology, Precious Metal Repellency Treatment typically imparts initial water contact angles of around 120 degrees and oil contact angles around 90 degrees. After significant abrasion cycles, these contact angles are only slightly affected. This technology results in a stable hydrophobic and oleophobic precious metal coating that can be applied to all precious metals.
If you have large volume requirements or a specialized application requiring our technical support, please contact us directly. As part of lab services business we regularly work with customers to implement our technology for your process or application. These services include optimizing a process to treat your parts at our facility or providing you with the technical support including materials and procedures to treat parts at your facility. Click below to submit your information and an applications expert will reach out to see how we can assist.
Please note we are a B2B company and do not support consumer inquiries.
Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment is extremely durable relative to competitive nanoscale precious metal coatings. Unlike other technologies requiring surface microstructuring, which is, inherently, very fragile, Aculon® technology is a non-toxic chemical treatment covalently bound to the surface. The durability is expected to be long, but it is part and application specific.
Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment is only 2-4 nm thick. It is covalently bound to the substrate and thus very stable. While it will reduce impact damage, as the Aculon® treatment make the surface lubricious and, therefore, more likely that impacts to glance off the surface, the treatment is too thin to add any direct scratch or gouge resistance or hardness to the part. A treated part will behave as normal (untreated) when exposed to a scratching/polishing/abrasive action. In other words, if an action polishes, scratches, or abrades your untreated part, it will do the same to your treated part, removing the treatment in the process. As you can imagine, the amount of force needed to impact gold vs titanium is far different. The abrasion durability is dependent on the substrate treated. Fortunately, if a part is damaged, it can easily be retreated.
Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment is chemically resistant to nearly all liquid chemicals! See below for lists of compatible and incompatible materials:
- Organic Solvents
- Neutral Aqueous Solvents (up to pH 9)
- Acidic Solvents which do NOT etch your substrate
- Caustic Aqueous Solvents (pH 10+)
Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment is impacted by UV over time. Level of degradation depends on exposure time & intensity. Anywhere from weeks to months before reapplication is required can be expected. Aculon® Metal Repellency Treatment is not intended for outdoor applications where a permanent treatment is required.
Aculon® Precious Metal Treatment is stable to 225C before the chemical structure is damaged and performance impacted. There is no known lower temperature threshold which damages the treatment.
Step 1: Clean
Parts Must be sufficiently clean prior to treatment for proper bonding and effective application. See “Cleaning” tab for more detail.
Step 2: Primer
Option – Dip
Fully immerse the part in the Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment solution for 30 seconds. Withdraw the part at a steady rate to ensure even coverage. Allow to dry or cure depending on your substrate. Contact us now to see how we can work to implement this solution into your facility.
Option – Wipe
Using a clean cloth, apply Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment by wiping the treatment across the surface in a buffing motion for 1 minute per square foot.
For robust bonding and optimum performance, a properly cleaned and prepared surface is imperative when using Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment. Cleaning Methods can be summarized into Good, Better, & Best Options. The cleaning options below assume that the part being treated has first been sufficiently degreased and cleaned of all visual contaminants. Optimal bonding is typically achieved when a water break free surface is achieved (usually better & best cleaning options).
Often times a good enough cleaning method is sufficient when your process needs to be simple and future reapplication is not inconvenient. Good enough cleaning methods sufficiently clean the surface but do not necessarily achieve a water break free surface, which indicates a perfectly clean surface. Examples of good enough cleaning methods include:
- Other Solvent Degreasers
When performance and durability are important, or when reapplication is not practical, a more reliable and an efficient cleaning method is necessary. Better options are designed to achieve a water break free surface (perfectly clean) on the vast majority of parts against a variety of different contaminations. Better cleaning methods typically utilize more aggressive chemicals and may require rinsing or specific procedures to ensure proper results. Examples of “better” cleaning methods include:
- Aculon® 905 (Room Temp Caustic cleaner)
- Ceria polish (abrasive scrub)
- Comet abrasive (or other polishing compound)
When performance and durability are critical, and reapplication is absolutely not practical, the absolute best cleaning options are required. These options are designed to achieve a uniform water break free surface (perfectly clean) reliably on all parts. These Best cleaning methods utilize more aggressive chemicals requiring rinsing and specific steps to ensure proper results. In some cases, physical cleaning methods are utilized. Care should be taken when using these methods as they are potentially hazardous to the operator and part to be coated. Examples of “best” cleaning methods include:
- Aculon® 907 (Heated Caustic cleaning dip)
- Argon Plasma
- Corona Discharge
- Piranha bath (H2SO4/H2O2)
Not sure what level of cleaning your parts require? Contact Aculon® and we will work with you to determine the level of cleanliness needed for your application and to determine a cleaning method that fits your precious metal coating process.
How thick is the treatment?
How do you know it is only 2-4 nm thick?
Via XPS and other sensitive optical measurements such as ellipsometry we can quantitatively confirm thickness. The treatment is a self limiting reaction which does not cross link, so we know the thickness is limited to the chemistries molecular chain length
Can I see the treatment?
No, it is 100% optically clear. Minus the change in performance, your properly treated part will look exactly the same.
100% clear? Really? There must be some reflected or absorbed loss?
Yes 100% clear, 100% transmission with no reflected or absorbed losses. Spectral reflectance can not detect the coatings presence on the surface.
Do I need to clean the part? It looks clean enough.
Yes, to get a properly performing coating it must be cleaned no matter how it looks just prior to treatment. Unseen organic and inorganic contaminants can prevent bonding. Atmospheric contaminants will quickly contaminate a part that has been left to sit.
How do I know if the part is 100% clean?
It is water break free. Note that “good” cleaning options may not clean to this level.
Is it superhydrophobic? (contact angle 150 degree plus)
No, while very hydrophobic (and also oleophobic) it is not superhydrophobic. A durable super hydrophobic treatment is a unicorn, it does not exist. Current superhydrophobic coatings rely on surface microstructuring and, while impressive at first (I know you have seen the YouTube videos), are extremely fragile and offer terrible longevity (now go check the Amazon reviews of these products).
Is it Oleophobic?
Yes! Aculon® Precious Metal Repellency Treatment repels oils with oil contact angles in the 80-90 degree range.
Will you sell me a smaller amount to treat my watch or ring?
Sorry, but at this time Aculon® is a business to business company and is only working on commercial accounts and is not supporting consumer requests.
What Precious Metal does it work on?
Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium
Is it possible to over apply the treatment?
No, the treatment is a self limiting reaction and does not crosslink to form thicker layers.