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PVD Technology

How new PVD installations will impact the architecture industry

PVD Chambers
PVD Chambers. Photo courtesy of Kloeckner Metals

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) may be an old technology, but it is having a revival thanks to new stateside availability and capacity. For decades, PVD was limited by small runs, limited scopes, and defined functional and aesthetic horizons. Not to mention the logistical, trade and antidumping complications of overseas production. Now, with unprecedented licensing agreements between American and international manufacturers, a new age of PVD is arriving. Already, PVD is beginning to impact architectural design trends, and the possibilities for PVD in architecture are endless.

A Match Waiting to Happen

Long ignored because of cumbersome limitations and requirements, architects are discovering that PVD is uniquely suited to their projects. In using PVD, architects can borrow from other verticals to land on design innovation, additional aesthetics, and increased functionality that disrupt, rather than level, the playing field. But, with made-in-America PVD a reality, the benefits to the architectural industry start with the practical.

Benefits to Made-in-America PVD


The number one benefit to domestic production and distribution is speed. Whether it’s sampling, prototyping, or quick visits to review drawings or other aspects of the project, a domestic PVD supplier means everything can be responded to immediately—and addressed in a matter of days.


Previously, PVD was limited to small jobs due to the sizing of the chambers. This is no longer true. With 100- to 200-square-foot chambers, PVD can now take on larger projects, including those demanded of large-scale architectural projects.


The type of equipment that now exists in the United States offers dimension, quality and consistency of color. American manufacturers have invested in state-of-the-art labs that guarantee the PVD they’re producing alongside precise color matching.


USA-made PVD is vertically integrated alongside larger distribution businesses for stainless substrate. Manufacturers have easy access to raw material and both lead times and deliveries are seamless. Things that happen in transit or during project installs that would amount to a nightmare with foreign distributors can now be easily resolved.


With stateside production, architects can avoid complications from importing supplies and goods. Architects get a product on par with any of the top foreign quality sources without impact concerns over trade and dumping restrictions.

PVD Bundling Services for Architects

Looking beyond just PVD, availability by established American manufacturers gives architects the ability to bundle services including stainless, aluminum, carbon, coated steels and shapes into a concise package. Bundling PVD with existing services, architects can participate in a host of other material requirements without going to an outside or foreign distributor.

Consolidating supply chains, easing transactions, and leveraging volume all mean lower costs for architects. Not to mention architects can get everything from suppliers they trust and apply the same exacting quality expectations to PVD as they do to their existing product needs. It makes sense that PVD is set up for immense growth in the architectural and design trade.

PVD Already Making a Footprint

Already, high-visibility projects are shaking up preconceptions of PVD in architecture. Whether it’s resorts, hotels, or casinos, whether the installs are for lobbies, foyers, trims, or art, new projects are demonstrating an unrivaled level of detail and aesthetics across the industry. Just at Kloeckner Metals, we’ve had the opportunity to be involved in applications in Washington, D.C., New York City and Las Vegas that reflect PVD’s growing impact and hint at emerging trends.

More Color Offerings

High on the list of emerging trends is more color. While the architecture industry is comfortable with mixing and matching traditional material colors like stainless steel, copper, brass and gunmetal tones, we expect to see more creative color offerings, especially when it comes to interior design.

High-Quality Minimalism

Minimalism, combined with an appreciation for high-quality materials and details, is dominating exteriors and interiors. We expect PVD to complement minimalism in a big way, allowing architects to accent space and lighting with new colors that speak volumes without overwhelming or dominating spaces.

Multi-Use Living Complexes

Finally, we expect color use trends in multi-use living complexes that are dominant in China to grow stateside as the same PVD capability becomes established here. These multi-use living complexes will be at the forefront of exploring the new color palettes allowed by PVD in foyers, elevators, lounges and bars.

A New Age in American PVD

PVD gives architects a playing field for differentiation and the opportunity to position their project in a premier spot. Whatever the project, PVD has the potential to revitalize final finishes, whether it’s colors, textures, or sizes, and we expect it to grow to new heights in the architectural space thanks to new stateside availability with all of the resulting practical benefits.

John Dobek is the vice president of business development for Kloeckner Metals, Roswell, Ga. For more information visit