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An Austrian SME developed a new atmospheric cold plasma activation technology for synthetic surfaces. Compared to similar systems it saves operating costs and 30% investment costs, is easier to install in existing productions and suitable for complex surfaces. Nearly all materials (plastics, metals, glass, textiles..) can be treated for packaging, medical, automotive etc. applications. Companies and technical research institutes are sought for commercial, technical and/or research cooperations.
Plastic parts/surfaces for e.g. automotive or packaging applications often have to be coated, imprinted, painted or glued on other materials. A common problem with such nonpolar surfaces is the low adhesion which decreases quality and durability of the treatment or even makes desired treatments of surfaces impossible.
Therefore such surfaces are activated (pretreated) via cold plasma in order to raise adhesion. Plasma activation technologies at hand often cannot be installed in existing production lines due to their space requirements, are not adaptable to specific client needs and are not suited for complex surfaces.
The Austrian company succeeded in developing a new atmospheric cold plasma activation technology to overcome all above mentioned disadvantages. This was achieved by optimizing the nozzle construction and the electronics design.
The plasma surface treatment can be easily implemented inline. It enables the cleaning and activation of surfaces with plasma at nearly all possible materials. A broad range of different plastics have been successfully tested. Materials such as metals, glass, carton, textiles and composites still have to be tested.
The novel technology consists of a plasma jet, power electronics with a control panel and hose assemblies.
Some technical details:
- temperature at the nozzle: max. 255°C
- surface materials: plastics (especially PE, PP, PET, PC, PU etc.), metals, glass, carton, textiles, composite materials
- process gas: compressed air (nitrogen and oxygen are also possible)
- power electronics: 315x150x245 mm (height x width x depth)
Certification Standards: 2014/35/EU, 2004/108/EG, DIN EN 61010-1, DIN EN 55011, DIN EN 61000-6-2, DIN EN 61000-6-4, DIN EN 60529;
Potential application areas are:
- selective surface activation before imprinting, gluing, coating or paintwork to optimize adhesion
- gluing of especially dissimilar materials
- pretreatment of injection moulded parts before e.g. coating
Targeted branches are:
- plastic processing industry for applications in packaging, medical, automotive industry etc.
- electrical components / applications
- automotive industry (suppliers etc.)
- other types of industries (textiles etc.)
The Austrian SME is looking for manufacturing companies and/or technical research institutes in the above mentioned fields to buy the novel system for their production or research/development activities. It offers training and technical support (commercial agreement with technical assistance), client specific tests and adaptations for new applications (technical cooperation) and further development of the technology via R&D projects (research cooperation).
Compared to other cold plasma activation systems on the market the novel technology features:
- more than 30% savings in investment costs
- lower operating costs (no reactive power loss, lower consumption of compressed air)
- better reachability of surface areas which are difficult to access because of the nozzle construction => suitable for complex surfaces
- better space- and installation possibilities in existing production plants due to compact power electronics and longer hose assemblies
- lower temperatures at the nozzle (max. 255°C) => applicable to a broader range of plastics / temperature sensitive materials
- high process speed saving time in production
- high product life of the nozzle => reduced wear costs
- low-maintenance continuous operation
General advantages of cold plasma activation are:
- nearly all synthetic surfaces can be treated; it enables the combination of materials which were incompatible so far
- working at atmospheric pressure => no vacuum or special atmosphere needed
- environmentally friendly process
Since 2016 several systems have been sold to different industries in Austria, Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
Specific area of activity of the partner:
Manufacturing companies and/or technical research institutes from the following fields:
- plastic processing industry which deals with gluing, painting, printing, fixing, etc. for applications in packaging, medical, automotive industry and many more
- electrical components and electronical applications, e.g. circuit boards
- automotive industry (suppliers of e.g. headlights, car dashboards, interior parts, engine components etc.)
- other types of industries which are interested in the benefits of the novel activation process, e.g. textile industry (hydrophobic textiles, gluing of seams etc.)
Tasks to be performed by the partner:
- Commercial agreement with technical assistance: partners willing to buy the novel system for their production or research/development activities; the Austrian company provides training and technical support.
- Technical cooperation agreement: partners with new applications can test their specific cases/needs at the premises of the Austrian company together with them. As a consequence client specific adaptations of the technology are possible.
- Research cooperation agreement: technical research institutes for the further development of the cold plasma activation technology (cooperation in the framework of funded European research programmes might also be possible).