Plasma processes

Improving surface adhesion

Polymer surfaces have limited or no affinity with glues or inks. Poor adhesion means poor quality. Adhesion strength is definitively an important constraint in modern manufacturing.

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma processes tremendously increase adhesion strength. They remove organic contamination from the surface and pop in appropriate chemical preparation. Plasma treatment makes the strongest bond for industry requirements. Plasmas increase tensile strength up to 10 times, and more. An optimized plasma treatment changes the failure of the adhesion joint from adhesive to cohesive.

Plasma activation before gluing on automotive parts

ULD's plasma activation on aluminum
before over moulding

Tensile strength test on polymers before and after treatment

Increase wettability, from hydrophobic to hydrophilic properties

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma processes increase surface energy of materials in two steps. Contaminants are first removed and then, the plasma reacts with the surface, popping in appropriate chemical preparation that made it more hydrophilic. Glue, paint or ink will spread over surfaces easily. Atmospheric pressure plasma is a cost-effective and efficient industrial process superseding harsh solvent methods which are no longer authorized.

Cleaning by oxidation of organic contamination, reduction of native oxides

Surfaces are always contaminated by organic layers or native oxides. This is often a consequence of storage or effects of previous processing steps. These contaminants need to be removed for functionality reasons or just to restore surface preparation before printing or gluing.

Thin oil films are cleaned in a few seconds with an oxidizing plasma. AcXys Technologies plasma is a clean and efficient alternative to mechanical and liquid cleaning processes.

Thin film deposition

CVD coatings (Chemical Vapor Deposition) are performed with Atmospheric Pressure Plasma. Vapors of a suitable metal organic precursor are injected into the plasma. Uniform and homogeneous thin films can even be deposited on polymers.

Film deposition is a recent development topic and many applications for this technology are under investigation. Coatings give advanced functionalities to materials and are easily customized to customer specifications. For example, a glass film adds anti-abrasion property to a plastic part, anti-attrition property to metals or a new optical functionalities to glass.

Process engineers at the Process Development Laboratory of AcXys Technologies are currently studying these processes. Their support is a valuable resource for companies who wish to benefit from these advanced processes.