Plasma Treatment process

Plasma energizes tired plastics

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  • Plasma process: cleaning, electrostatic discharging and activation of surface
  • Long-time adhesion of the adhesive bond or coating
  • Applications: CFRP / GFRP, EPDM/TPE, PP, among others

The most likely cause for the inability of additive-free plastics to be bonded or coated effectively, despite having clean surfaces, is their low polarity and resultant low surface energy. At the upcoming #Fakuma trade fair the company Plasmatreat will demonstrate how to increase this weak energy in a matter of seconds to enable downstream processes such as bonding, painting, printing or foaming, without resorting to any chemicals whatsoever.

Openair-Plasma process with triple effect

The Openair-Plasma process performs three operations in a single step lasting only a matter of seconds: It simultaneously brings about the microfine cleaning, electrostatic discharging and activation of the plastic surface. This triple action far outweighs anything conventional pretreatment systems can achieve. The resulting homogeneous wettability of the material surface and long-time stable adhesion of the adhesive bond or coating is achieved even under the most challenging load conditions.

CFRP / GFRP

The versatility of Openair atmospheric plasma technology will be demonstrated live using a number of different applications. The exhibition will focus on the structural bonding of lightweight fiber composites. The non-polar surfaces of carbon- or glass fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP / GFRP) cannot be bonded without effective pretreatment. Visitors will be able to watch the plasma pretreatment of a CFRP hood: this involves a Motoman six-axle robot which guides the plasma nozzle with millimeter precision to the exact areas that are to be subsequently bonded to the chassis. Visitors can also observe how the plasma nozzles, despite their diminutive size, can likewise be used to pretreat large areas of the CFRP part prior to painting or printing.

EPDM/TPE

Another system targets the sealants industry: Plasma-Tube, a fully automated plasma system incorporating up to 12 nozzles for pretreating over 1,000 different profile geometries. This device minimizes profile changeover times and service interruptions, thereby making the plasma process even more efficient.

Polypropylene

Visitors will be able to design their own plastic-encapsulated fridge magnets with the aid of an ITW Morlock digital printing system. The plastic will be pretreated with a rotary plasma nozzle before the PC prints directly onto the substrate.

Picture: Plasma treatment of a thermoplastic computer mouse (source: Plasmatreat)

 



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