Thin cleaning of metals

The various steps of metal parts machining induce the use of oils in most cases, which remain on the surface of the parts after their manufacturing. A gluing, painting or even a welding require a good cleaning, in order to remove the residues that prevent good adhesion. The most common solution is the use of detergent baths, a liquid process that will remove almost all of those residues.

However, a "Langmuir-Blodgett" film is deposited when emerging the parts from a washing bath. When immerging a metal piece in a bath, remaining oils will be detached from it. Some of those oils will however remain on the bath surface and when the piece is taken off the bath, a very thin film of oil residues mixed with surfactants and saponifiers will be deposited on the metal surface. The cleaning quality of a liquid washing process is enough to meet most requirements, however, for high-value applications, requiring perfect cleaning, this technique is not sufficient.

langmuir-filmLangmuir-Blodgett film, organic residues on the surface of the bath are deposited when emerging the piece metal-cleaningInox surface half treated by AcXys plasma : the liquid spreads and sticks perfectly on the treated part

Plasma for an ideal surface

Atmospheric plasma is a treatment working with gas, perfectly suited in addition to a liquid processing to ensure a fine cleaning of metal surfaces. When the plasma is blown onto a surface, a double action occurs. Plasma indeed brings a fine surface cleaning, but it also add through its chemical activation, a hydrophilic effect which greatly enhances the adhesion and spreading of any type of liquid coating on the surface. The deposition of a joint after a plasma treatment ensure its sealing or a varnishing will be more homogeneous and the bonding will be stronger. AcXys Technologies provides this solution with two types of products. The ULS Module “spot plasma” enables a localized treatment while the ULD Module "plasma Curtain" can treat larger areas up to 500mm wide. Those two modules combine many advantages such as working in open air, a low cost of consumables or their ease of integration. They are now used in a wide range of industries such as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, precision engineering or watchmaking.