What is PVD finishing?

PVD finishes: Everything you need to know

The Fitzroy of London brand exists to make sure that everyone, regardless of ability, has access to the same luxurious washroom experiences when they visit a premium venue.

From couture fashion to the world’s most exclusive hotels, we’ve worked with a host of luxury locations to help them deliver their accessible vision in a way that dovetails seamlessly with their brand’s wider aesthetic goals.

But if we’re talking about real accessibility, we need to go much deeper than just compliance and pleasing aesthetics – we also need to deliver a quality, durable product that delivers on accessibility while also enhancing the user experience year after year.

This need for practical performance is why we offer PVD finishing options on our solid brass products, because it represents the ultimate way to combine durability with luxury aesthetics.  But what exactly is PVD?  How does it work – and why is it more durable?  Let’s take a closer look…

What is PVD finishing?

PVD stands for Physical Vapour Deposition.  It’s a finishing process conducted in a high-tech vacuum chamber using an energised, high-temperature gas to turn precious and semi-precious metals into a vapour. During the PVD process, metallic atoms collide with our brass grab rails and accessories, and react with nitrogen in the chamber.  As a result, these atoms are metallurgically bonded with the brass surface. The original surface is replaced with a new one that replicates the true colour of the vaporised metal, while retaining all the strength and durability of the brass substrate.

What’s the benefit of PVD finishing?

The main benefit of PVD is that it allows the creation of precious or semi-precious metal finishes that are extremely hard, while also being resistant to tarnishing, corrosion and wear.

Brass, for example, is an extremely strong metal – but it oxidises readily, resulting in uneven discolouration or tarnishing of the surface.  To counteract this, brass surfaces were historically protected by a layer of varnish or lacquer – but these were prone to wearing off over time.  

With PVD, you get a solid metal surface that isn’t vulnerable to the environment or to wear and tear, either from frequent touching by hands or from frequent cleaning using disinfectants and abrasive cleaners.  

The benefits of this finish for grab rail in accessible toilets cannot be overstated.  PVD is easy to maintain using simple cleaning processes with no need for polishing or other treatments to maintain its appearance.  It is also highly scratch resistant, making it ideal for public conveniences where grab rails and other fittings encounter a high degree of wear and tear.

What are the colour options for PVD finishing?

At Fitzroy of London, we currently offer 18 options in our PVD range.  This includes gold, brass, bronze, nickel and anthracite, with the choice of polished, satin or antique finishes in most colourways.

Is PVD sustainable?

The simple answer is yes. PVD is a socially responsible and environmentally friendly finishing process. It is clean and dry, with no hazardous materials involved, and does not generate chemical waste or water pollution. The eco-friendly finishes are so inert and nontoxic that similar technology is used to coat knee and hip implants. Using PVD coatings results in a long useful life, which results in a reduction in the amount of waste generated.

Browse our PVD finish options here, or to request a copy of our NEW product guide, get in touch!

See also: 
Adapting Hospitality Design to a Changing World,
Choosing the Perfect Fitzroy of London Range for Your Project

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