What is aluminum coated plastic film


Aluminum coated plastic film is usually intended to refer to the plastic film substrate material with its surface coated or deposited a thin layer of aluminum atoms. Even though, coating is not the exact term to describe how the aluminum atoms is achieved onto the surface, however, many people are used to this term.

In this post, we respect this habit, and try to explain what this term really means. Anway, let’s avoid misunderstanding in business negotiations.

Why aluminum

Several kinds of metal can be applied onto the plastic film substrate, such as aluminum, zinc. In actual application in our daily life, the plastic films with aluminum depositing layer finds the widest applications. So when talking about metal coating, usually people are talking about aluminum coating. And below are the main plastic film that can be working as substrate film with aluminum coating on top.

  • PET Film
  • BOPP film
  • BOPA film
  • PVA Film
  • Paper
  • PVC film
  • LDPE film

So, professional terms “metallizatioin” is used to decribe the process of aluminum metal being deposited on the surface of plastic film substrate.

Vacuum Metallization

Pure aluminum wires will have to be evaporated into vapor in vacuum conditions, otherwise it will explode with the touch of enough air (reacting with oxygen in the air). Below graphic shows the vacuum chamber where the aluminum metallization process takes place.


So, aluminum deposited film or aluminum coated film is most popularly called vacuum metallized film, often short as VM Film. Take PET film for example, the final metallized film will be called as Vacuum metallized PET film, short as VMPET film.

Of course, you may read this post for more understanding: What is vacuum metallized film

Please note, the term coating is quite different from laminate, and it should not be taken as the same meaning of laminate with aluminum foil. As the most used thickness of aluminum foil in flexible packaging is 7 microns, and nevertheless, it can not be coated or deposited on the surface of other plastic film. It can only be laminated with other film materials, which is usually called aluminum foil laminate. You may read this post for further understanding: What is aluminum foil laminate.

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