Metallized and coated films have a coating or thin metal film for decorative or functional applications. There are several basic types of products. Metallized films have a metallized layer, metallic appearance or thin-film coating. Laminated films consist of filaments, foils or fabric that is bonded or laminated onto a metal carrier film to enhance strength or other properties. Coated films are produced through thin-film deposition, dyeing, laminating, spray coating, roll coating, or other web coating processes. Coatings provide scratch resistance, control friction or adhesion (controlled COF), and release. Metallized and coated films may also improve print reception, alter optical transmission or reflection, and provide decorative characteristics.
Product specifications for metallized and coated films include thickness, width and length, as well as temperature resistance, tensile resistance, and elongation. Thickness is usually measured in mils or thousandths of an inch, and is measured under slight pressure with a special gauge. Width and length are measured in inches. Temperature resistance is the maximum temperature that metallized and coated films can withstand. Tensile strength is the force required to break a piece of metallized or coated film by pulling on opposite ends of the piece. Elongation is the distance that metallized and coated films can stretch lengthwise. It is expressed as a percentage of the product’s original length, but is not necessarily an indication of conformability.
Metallized and coated films vary in terms of features. Some products have an adhesive coating and provide anti-static or electrostatic discharge (ESD) control. Others feature pre-printed text or graphic designs. Metallized and coated films that provide chemical resistance or electrical insulation are also commonly available. Specialized products include printed wiring board (PWD) or printed circuit board (PCB) material; metallized films that are transparent, reflective, or weather-resistant; and coated films that are removable, repositionable, permanent or protective. Release liners or films have specialized non-stick coatings. Sealable films are designed with a controlled coefficient of friction to allow control of sealing, slip or bonding between layers.
There are many different applications for metallized and coated films. Typically, products are used in automotive, aerospace, electrical, electronics, medical, packaging, plumbing, and printing applications. Metallized and coated films are also used with semiconductors and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In addition, some products can be used with radio frequency (RF) and microwave applications, or with transdermal drug delivery.