You have probably seen me on the TV show “Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®”, and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the world of plasma.
In case you missed our feature on TV, you can rewatch it on our YouTube channel: click here
I myself have been exposed to the technology since my early childhood. My father was a leading scientist with many patents in the low-pressure plasma technology for semiconductor devices. I have been working for 25 years in various industries using plasma processes. Today, I am leading our revolutionary Openair-Plasma® technology in North America. The entire Plasmatreat team shares enthusiasm and passion for this innovative and environmentally friendly plasma technology.
On this page, I will explain what plasma is, the industries we serve, and introduce you to the different plasma processes as well as the benefits of our technology.
Plasma is ionized gas, also known as the 4th state of matter. It is created by adding extra energy to air or gasses generating a mix of positive ions and negative electrons, similar to the Northern Lights. When plasma comes into contact with a material, the surface characteristics, such as its polarity, change. This has a significant effect on different bonding and adhesive processes.
Traditionally, plasma has been used in vacuum chambers to treat microelectronic devices and metals. With the introduction of Openair-Plasma®, Plasmatreat widley broadened the use of plasma to many different industries.
Today, plasma is used for activation, cleaning, and coating of all kinds of surfaces.
Advantages of Openair-Plasma®
Openair-Plasma® is used in a wide variety of industries – automotive, aerospace, electronics, renewable energy, medical devices, household appliances, packaging and sporting goods to name a few. It is a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cleaning methods.
Our goal is to deliver a reliable, precise, and high-quality solution, and we are specialists for high-value or highly critical applications. Every day, our dedicated team takes pride in working hand in hand with our customers to target their challenges and develop innovative solutions for different material and surface properties.
You can’t find your industry on the above list? No problem. We provide solutions for a very broad range of industries. Please reach out to our experts located all over the globe, so we can develop a customized solution that exactly fits your needs.
If you are interested in our industry solutions, please click here.
Changes in automotive manufacturing and in particular the combination of different materials in a car have led to bonding becoming a very important joining technique. To ensure the quality of that bond and of the final product, the pre-treatment of the surface prior to bonding is a crucial factor. Here, Openair-Plasma® is used in surface cleaning and activation.
Cleaning: Plasma treatment removes organic contaminants without using harmful chemicals, thereby preparing the surface for bonding.
Activation: Openair-Plasma® replaces primers that were needed to activate a surface and bond two pieces together. Plasma can perform the surface activation without the harmful chemicals and VOCs, allowing for various material combinations including hard-to-bond or dissimilar materials.
There are hundreds of existing applications for plasma in the automotive industry, including headlamps, car interior parts, and EPDM profiles. Sensors are another example that is becoming increasingly relevant. Since sensitive rain sensors, backup cameras, LiDAR sensors, and other electronic devices have to be protected against the hardest influences of the environment, a perfectly sealed housing is crucial. Surface treatment with Openair-Plasma® ensures reliable bonding and a perfectly tight seal.
Transportation has always been driven by innovation. When we went from horse drawn carriages to steam engine trains, people were very skeptical, could not envision a rail network and thought it was not safe enough for humans.
Today, we face the same challenges as we embark on a path to electrified cars, hyperloops as well as self-driving and even flying cars. The weight of the vehicle (light-weighting) and the power source (battery) are two critical components, along with software and sensors.
Openair-Plasma® enables the creation of lighter vehicles by allowing composite materials to be bonded reliably and ensuring the safety of EV battery modules, sensors, and other critical components. Plasmatreat is working with a wide range of companies on the latest prototypes of future transportation.
Plasma technology is imperative for micro-electronics. Low pressure plasma has been the key enabler for semiconductor devices for the past five decades. Today, Openair-Plasma® is emerging as the new state-of-the-art method to treat micro-electronic devices after post chip production. With the selective treatment width and non-damaging (neither thermal nor electrical) methods, Plasmatreat provides industry leading solutions for:
Openair-Plasma® enables the most reliable bond of dissimilar materials like glass, metal and plastic in cell phones and laptops. It cleans the surface prior to bonding in the most critical chip packaging production lines and is used as the preferred treatment prior to conformal coatings in the PCB Assembly lines for mission critical products.
Medical technology in particular faces major challenges when it comes to the surface treatment of products and the integration of electronics. Besides requiring very elaborate cleaning methods and often extremely harmful chemical treatments, medical manufacturing demands the highest possible standards.
Special materials such as PTFE, FEP, and polyamide are often used in applications such as catheters, syringes, and medical test kits including microfluidic devices. Each type of material presents its own individual challenges when it comes to surface preparation for printing or bonding.
Many customers have different requirements for surface preparation, treatment, and modification for sensitive and vital applications. Conventional processes are usually expensive, harmful, and very limited in their scope of application. Here, Plasmatreat offers sustainable and user-friendly solutions to provide clean and functionalized surfaces of all materials.
Sustainability is a critical element in everything we do. Our plasma technology allows for companies to replace outdated and harmful cleaning methods like flame treatment, sand blasting and wet chemicals that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Many industries still use surface pretreatment methods involving solvent-containing primers, bonding agents, or other chemicals that release VOCs.
Pretreatment with Openair-Plasma® provides an environmentally friendly alternative. We achieve better surface preparation results by replacing harsh chemicals with just clean compressed air and electricity, protecting workers and the environment. The plasma process is dry and wastewater-free and achieves clean and highly activated surfaces. This enables good wettability even with water and eliminates the need for harmful solvents. Compared to these solvents and conventional primers, the low operating costs and predicitive maintenance of Openair-Plasma® are convincing.
Product requirements are continuously evolving, and products increasingly consist of composite materials. Old solutions such as welding, screwing, or riveting no longer meet the requirements and safety standards, and are replaced by adhesive bonding technology. This technology, facilitated by Openair-Plasma®, enables the bonding of all materials while reliably retaining their properties and increasing the durability.
Adhesive bonding is a key enabling technology for “light-weighting”. The use of lighter materials such as composites and polymers has expanded from aerospace to almost all other industries including automotive (traditional cars and electric vehicles), household and consumer goods, construction, and furniture. Surfaces of these materials can be difficult to bond, particularly with mechanical fasteners, and not all adhesives are compatible with these new materials. Plasma pre-treatment enables the replacement of such fasteners with adhesives to generate a stronger bond – even for dissimilar materials –, easy inline automation in manufacturing processes, and the elimination of harmful VOCs.
The expanding use of thermoplastics – a sustainable type of plastic that can be heated, molded, and recycled several times – allows for new design freedom, but also for optimum utilization of the material. However, many of these plastics are nonpolar and don’t have the surface characteristics for follow on processes such as printing or bonding. A surface treatment with Openair-Plasma® activates the surface of these thermoplastics and generates polarity. Formerly incompatible materials can now be bonded, printed, or coated reliably.
Do you have unanswered questions or simply want to learn more about plasma technology and its numerous use cases? Join us for our free educational infosession, where our plasma experts Khoren Sahagian and Hardev Grewal will answer questions around the world of plasma. This will be an interactive session, meaning that you can ask your questions anytime – or stay anonymous and listen to others’ questions if you prefer to.
Date: July 8, 2021
Time Slot: 10:45 am Central Standard Time
Duration: ~30 minutes
Click here for registration
Overall, plasma technology is not new. Openair-Plasma® has gained a noteworthy industrial significance, because in contrast with low-pressure plasma or high-pressure plasma, no reaction vessel is needed. Therefore, plasma can be employed inline in manufacturing processes.
Plasma Cleaning: Openair-Plasma® enables the cleaning of surfaces using only clean compressed air and electricity and provides the optimal prerequisites for subsequent coating. Using ultrafine cleaning, chemical or organic contaminants can be completely removed from even sensitive surfaces.
Plasma Activation: Many materials require surface modifications for subsequent processes such as coating, painting, or gluing. Openair-Plasma® selectively increases surface energy and thereby improves surface wettability. This allows for easy processing of the materials as well as the production of new material combinations.
Plasma Coating: By supplying specific additives to the plasma, depending on the application, PlasmaPlus® nanocoating deposits a specific functional coating into the microstructures of the material surface. This results in high efficiency layers that give the materials completely new properties.
● Anti-Corrosion Layers: Protecting metals from oxidizing with PlasmaPlus®
● Bonding Layers: Promoting the link between adhesive and material
● Barrier Layers: Safe protection for food, beverages, and medicine
● Conformal Coatings: Selective protection of electronic components
In case of concrete questions for your individual application, our local contact is at your disposal. Click on the blue spot to find your contact person.
Phone: +39 041 53 14 727
Plasmatreat Italia s.r.l.
Vega Parco Scientifico E Tecnologico Di Venezia
Centro Direzionale Lybra
Via Pacinotti 4A
Phone: +86 21 619 40 100
Plasmatreat Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
Room 1304 Building 4 Huiyi City
The First International Center
200 HongFu Road
523000 Guangdong Dongguan