GROHE PVD COLOUR FOR PERSONALISATION THAT TRULY LASTS

At the Albergaria plant in Portugal, GROHE’s innovative Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) process is used to give kitchen and bathroom fittings a finish that provides incredible color and exceptional durability. For almost 15 years, Cláudia Barbosa has headed up Industrial Engineering at the plant; she coordinated the introduction of the first PVD machine in 2015, and since then has handled all the projects introducing new colored parts. Today, a dedicated team of 136 employees take care of GROHE’s PVD process. The intricacies of the PVD process and the workings of the plant itself makes her job consistently engaging, she explains. “PVD does not only introduce a new technology: it also brings different and challenging requirements in terms of production management. It’s been a really interesting and valuable learning process on both levels.”

GROHE PVD COLOUR FOR PERSONALISATION THAT TRULY LASTS

The alchemy of PVD production, she says, is “difficult to describe without getting into technical matters”. But the most important thing is the end result, which is wonderfully simple: a very thin, highly adhesive and resistant film coating. This coating acts as an industry-leading finish for bathroom and kitchen fittings, and is also widely used in the production of any tool for which wear resistance and durability is crucial, such as in the automotive, defense and medical industries. PVD even has a place in the space program, Barbosa explains: “Anything used in aerospace must withstand extreme conditions: extremes temperatures, pressure, extreme everything. The properties that can be obtained with PVD (hardness, low friction, etc.) make these coatings ideal for aerospace applications.”

GROHE PVD COLOUR FOR PERSONALISATION THAT TRULY LASTS
GROHE PVD COLOUR FOR PERSONALISATION THAT TRULY LASTS

What this means for something slightly more modest, such as a faucet on planet Earth, is significantly higher resistance to abrasion, scratches and shock. “So,” says Barbosa, “your bathroom fittings will endure years of use and cleaning agents, without fading and without wearing off. It’s very long-lasting compared to other kinds of coatings.” And in contrast to other coating processes, such as electro-plating, PVD also produces no waste, making it sustainable and environmentally-friendly in more ways than one. As Barbosa explains, PVD is “a closed process, where you add nothing that needs to be disposed of afterwards.”

GROHE PVD COLOUR FOR PERSONALISATION THAT TRULY LASTS

Another advantage of PVD, especially for people looking to individualize their kitchens and bathrooms, is its distinctively high-quality finish, which brings the GROHE Color Collection to life in brilliant new ways. The range and vibrancy of the colors offers customers what Barbosa describes as “incredible freedom of choice” when navigating the delicate balance between design and functionality. And this is greatly appreciated by customers: GROHE ordered two additional machines to meet the high demand for PVD, so seven PVD machines will be running in Albergaria by the end of October.

For Barbosa herself, the best fit for her own taste in kitchen fittings would be the classic Supersteel, and for a bathroom, the sophisticated look of Brushed Hard Graphite. It all depends, of course, on your own interior design preferences. Whatever they may be, GROHE’s PVD fittings – designed to withstand the test of time and produced using environmentally-friendly processes – are not only sustainable from start to finish, but will continue to look striking and beautiful even after decades of use.

More can be found in GROHE’s new BEYOND WATER magazine here.

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