Atmospheric pressure plasma taps into new areas of application

  • Plasma treatment of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), EPPDM profiles and electronics
  • Potential-free pretreatment

Atmospheric pressure plasma is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly methods of pre-treating plastics and composite materials. The company Plasmatreat will present new areas of application at this year’s Fakuma: the plasma treatment of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), EPPDM profiles and electronics.

Plasma live: Potential-free pretreatment

Any pretreatment process that conducts electrical potential produces short-circuits on circuit boards, leading to the destruction of layouts and components. The Openair plasma technology of Plasmatreat works in a different way: Together with its stand partner adhesive manufacturer Henkel, Plasmatreat will demonstrate live the manufacturing of plasma-treated USB sticks: starting with the electronic blank, plasma cleaning will be followed by low-pressure encapsulation with a hot melt and finally a functional test. The rotary nozzles developed specifically for these types of electronic applications have been proven to work with virtually zero-voltage input on the component. In addition, in order to make the USB component easier to remove from its injection mold, the tool is pre-coated with PT-Release, a plasma nano release layer developed by Plasmatreat.

Potential-free Openair plasma for the pretreatment

Potential-free Openair plasma for the pretreatment of plastic-encapsulated electronic assemblies (source: Plasmatreat)

Openair plasma and CFRP joining the race

Plasmatreat is focusing in particular on the use of plasma for structural bonding in fiber-composite lightweight constructions. When the World Solar Challenge, the toughest solar car rally in the world, begins in Australia on 18 October, ‘Punch One’ will be in the lineup; a solar car whose entire CFRP chassis was pretreated with Openair plasma before bonding. Visitors to the stand can follow the plasma adhesion process in detail on a monitor.

racing car ‘Punch One’

Openair plasma supported the adhesion process for the CFRP chassis of the new solar racing car ‘Punch One’ (source: Rob Stevens / KU Leuven)

EPDM technology

Another focus will be on plasma treatment of EPPDM profiles: the EPDM demonstrator is a machine and video player combined. It shows the evolution of systems which Plasmatreat has been refining for years: from the early, manually adjustable EPDM plasma systems to the latest fully automatic versions where up to 12 nozzles can pretreat over 1000 different profile geometries.

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