You may be unfamiliar with the process, but plasma surface treatment is integral to many industries. Below, we discuss the basics of plasma surface treatment and explain some common applications to show the treatment’s simplicity and utility.
What Is Plasma Surface Treatment?
Before we understand how plasma surface treatment helps various industries, what exactly does plasma surface treatment do? Plasma surface treatment utilizes the fourth state of matter, plasma, to alter the surface properties of a material to make the substrate more conducive to bonding and adhesion.
Plasma surface treatment combines reactive gas molecules and an electric field to create a highly ionized field on a targeted surface. The ionized field reacts with the substrate and recreates the surface’s chemical properties to clean and activate the surface and improve adhesive characteristics.
Industries That Use Plasma Surface Treatment
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is one of the most exciting recent technological developments that’s slowly growing in utility for various industries. As additive manufacturing makes the creation of plastic and silicone manufacturing parts more efficient, convenient, and fast, plasma surface treatment makes them more adhesive.
Polymers and silicones from additive manufacturing have low wettability, making them less conducive to paints, coatings, and adhesive bonding. Plasma surface treatment unlocks the full potential of 3D printing by making additive parts easier to bond with one another and more receptive to paint and protective coatings.
Another industrial application for plasma surface treatment is wire marking. Wire marking is integral to electronic systems and components for various industries, from construction to IT and industrial manufacturing.
Anyone who’s come across electric cables and wires has likely noticed the black ink markings and labels on the insulated cables. Plasma treatment enables inkjet printing on wires for legible, durable, and convenient wire marking for electrical safety and organization.
Plasma treatment also helps automotive manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and reduce weight in vehicle parts. Many modern car parts come from lightweight materials like plastics and polymers to reduce weight and make them more fuel efficient. But these plastic and silicone parts aren’t naturally adhesive, making them difficult to bond and paint. Plasma surface treatment improves the sticking power of exterior and interior automotive components for better painting, bonding between parts, and adhesion of electrical connectors.