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Atmospheric plasma cleaning and surface preparation

Atmospheric plasma cleaning and surface preparation

Principle

Plasma is an ionised gas of electrically charged particles and extremely reactive neutral particles. All of these will react with the surface of the material either by direct reaction or by elastic collision. The plasma is created in a tube in which a flow of compressed air crosses a high frequency, high voltage electrical discharge. The atmospheric plasma jet is effective in three ways:
1. Kinetic, due to the surface being bombarded by ions and molecules accelerated to high speeds
2. Thermal, due to the change of state from gas to plasma (jet temperature of around 200°C, temperature of the part increased by 15-20°C)
3. Chemical, by reacting with the atoms of the part treated.

Cleaning by atmospheric plasma

Cleaning, surface sterilisation of materials such as plastic, metal, glass, textiles and recycled or composite materials. For cleaning, the plasma is only applied to the dirt that can be broken down into gaseous by-products (aqueous fluids, oils, polishing paste etc.). Cleaning by atmospheric plasma also allows chemically stable, highly adhesive substances to be removed and is applied without problem to practically all shapes of parts.

Technology

Atmospheric plasma surface treatment: ULS technology

- Powerful and focused treatment
- Used in the open air
- Quick and cold
- Works with compressed air
- Manageable and easy to use
- Compact generator and tube
- Simple to integrate
Atmospheric plasma surface treatment: ULD technology

- Wide process from 6 cm to 50 cm
- Uniform plasma curtain
- 3D treatment
- Very low treatment temperature
- Work with nitrogen
- Manageable and easy to use
- Easy to integrate
Layer deposit under plasma
- Very fine layer of SiO2 or SiOx
- Used in the open air
- Quick and cold
- Compact generator and tube
- Simple to integrate

Applications

Pre-treatment/Activation by atmospheric plasma
The aim of the activation process is to alter the nature of a surface or its energy. More often than not, this allows the wettability of a surface to be increased (by adding polarity) or encouraging the adhesion of a coating (paintwork, ink, glue, varnish). Plasma activation is a simple process that allows a wide range of improvements. Plasma pre-treatment allows, in one single, simple and cheap stage, a significant improvement to the surface to be achieved.
Atmospheric plasma cleaning and activation prior to painting and varnishing
Due to the combination of materials forming them (polymers, glass, metals etc.), composites have complex surface properties. Atmospheric plasma opens the way to a high-quality surface finish as it allows cleaning and activation in a single stage, facilitating processes such as painting and varnishing. As an ecological and efficient technique, plasma is able to replace the most common toxic treatments.

Advantages:
- Uniform treatment easily integrated into both automatic and manual production.
- delicate care of the part to be treated
- Easy to implement, rapid treatment
- Complete elimination of wet chemical products in the cleaning process
- No neutralisation of the waste water, no elimination costs
- No heat or steam generated in the workplace
- Highly reliable and efficient cleaning process
- Marked improvement in hydrophilic properties
- Less staff required
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