PVD and anodizing are two different surface colouring methods and popular choices for body piercing jewellery due to their durability and biocompatibility.
PVD-Coated Surgical Steel, PVD-Coated Titanium and Anodized Titanium are most popular choices of coloured body piercing jewellery.
What are PVD and Anodizing?
PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) is a vacuum coating process that adds a thin-film layer on top to the original material by a physical process, such as sputtering. PVD plating can be used for both Surgical Steel and Titanium to provide a good range of colours, decorative and durable finish, with excellent adhesion and corrosion resistance.
Anodizing, on the other hand, is an electrochemical process that creates an anodic oxide finish to change the colour of metal, rather than simply adding a coating. The metal jewellery is submerged in a chemical bath and then subjected to electricity.
How to choose between PVD and anodizing depends on the specific requirements of the application?
PVD plating is often preferred when a highly decorative and durable finish is desired for a variety of metals, including stainless and titanium. PVD can provide a wide range of colours and finishes, including matte, shiny, and brushed.
Anodizing is specifically used for aluminium and is preferred when a corrosion-resistant, hard, and wear-resistant surface is required. Anodizing can also provide a range of colours, but the colour options are normally limited to shades of silver, grey, black, and bronze.
In summary, while both PVD and anodizing can provide durable and decorative finishes, they are different processes that are best suited for different materials and applications. To draw a comparison to PVD, anodizing is similar to permanent hair dye in that it penetrates the metal and changes its colour, whereas PVD is more like a semi-permanent hair dye that only coats the surface. PVD can be applied to both surgical steel and Titanium jewellery; however, only Titanium jewellery can be anodized.
Are PVD and Anodizing safe for body piercing?
The safety of PVD jewellery for body piercing depends on several factors, including the quality of the coating, the base metal used, and the specific body piercing location.
PVD coatings are typically made of materials like titanium nitride or zirconium nitride, which are biocompatible and safe for use in the body. However, if the coating is not applied properly or is of poor quality, it can lead to irritation, inflammation, and even infection.
It's also important to note that some individuals may have allergic reactions to certain metals, including those used as base metals for PVD jewellery. This can cause redness, itching, and other types of skin irritation.
Titanium is a biocompatible material, meaning that it is not harmful to living tissue and is generally well-tolerated by the body. It is a popular choice for body piercing jewellery because it is lightweight, strong, and resistant to corrosion.
Anodizing can change the appearance of Titanium, but it generally does not alter the fundamental character of the metal. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that forms a thin layer of anodized oxide on the surface of the metal. This layer can change the colour and texture of the titanium jewellery, making it appear glossy, matte, or even iridescent.
However, anodizing does not significantly change the mechanical or chemical properties of the titanium itself. The underlying metal still remains biocompatible, lightweight, and corrosion resistant. Anodizing does not affect the strength, durability, or flexibility of the titanium jewellery. In fact, anodizing can actually enhance the durability of titanium by providing an extra layer of protection against wear and corrosion. Anodized titanium jewellery can also be more scratch-resistant and less prone to tarnishing than un-anodized titanium jewellery.
In summary, it’s important to note that the safety of body piercing jewellery also depends on factors such as the material used and the design of the jewellery. It's recommended to use jewellery made from high-quality materials such as implant-grade stainless steel, titanium and to choose designs that are smooth, polished, and free from any rough or sharp edges.
It's also important to follow proper aftercare instructions to ensure the piercing heals properly. This includes regularly cleaning the piercing with a saline solution and avoiding any activities or behaviours that could irritate or infect the piercing, such as touching the piercing with dirty hands or using harsh cleaning products.
Which one is good for healing a fresh piercing, Plain, PVD or Anodized Titanium?
In general, uncoated, or anodized G23 titanium is a good choice for healing body piercing jewellery due to its biocompatibility and corrosion resistance. Titanium is a type of implant-grade material that is known for its high purity and low nickel content, making it a safe and hypoallergenic jewellery option for people with sensitive skin, nickel allergies as well as a new body piercing.
PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) coated jewellery is not recommended to use for healing a fresh body piercing. This is because the coating can potentially flake or wear off, exposing the underlying metal to the body's tissues, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, and even infection.
During the healing process, the body is more susceptible to infections and other complications. The jewellery used for a fresh piercing should be made from a non-reactive material such as implant-grade titanium, implant-grade stainless steel or 14k or 18k gold, that won't irritate the healing skin tissue.
While PVD-coated jewellery can also be made using G23 titanium as a base material, the coating process could potentially affect the biocompatibility and surface finish of the jewellery. Depending on the quality and thickness of the PVD coating, that being said, the suitability of any type of body piercing jewellery ultimately depends on a range of factors, including the design, size, and shape of the jewellery, as well as individual healing and aftercare practices.
It's always best to consult with a professional piercer to determine the best type of jewellery for a specific piercing location and individual healing needs.
What are the pros and cons for PVD and Anodized Titanium jewellery?
PVD Plated Titanium:
● PVD coatings can create a wide range of colours and finishes, including black, gold, rose gold, and silver.
● The coating is durable and can protect the underlying metal from corrosion and wear.
● PVD coating is a relatively simple and cost-effective process that can be used to add colour and durability to a variety of jewellery designs.
● PVD coatings can be relatively thin, so they may wear off over time, especially with frequent use or exposure to harsh conditions.
● Some people may have an allergic reaction to the metal used in the PVD coating, especially if the coating is damaged or worn down.
● PVD coatings may change the surface finish or texture of the underlying metal, which can affect the overall look and feel of the jewellery.
● Anodizing can create a wide range of colours, including pastels and bright, vivid hues.
● The colour produced by anodizing is more resistant to wear and fading than other colouring methods, as the oxide layer formed during anodizing is an integral part of the metal itself.
● Anodizing is a relatively safe and eco-friendly process that does not involve the use of harsh chemicals or toxic materials.
● The colours produced by anodizing are limited to those that can be achieved by introducing dyes into the porous oxide layer, so the range of available colours is somewhat limited compared to PVD coatings.
● Anodizing can affect the surface finish and texture of the titanium, which can make it more difficult to achieve a high-polish or reflective finish.
● Anodizing is a more complex and time-consuming process than PVD coating, which can make it more expensive and less accessible for some jewellery designers and manufacturers.
Overall, both PVD coating and Anodizing are popular ways for colouring and enhancing the durability of titanium jewellery, and each method has its own advantages and limitations. The best option will depend on individual preferences and needs, as well as the specific design and use of the jewellery.