Improve Your Process – Summer Upgrade Promotion

Plasma takes it to the next level!

Improve your process header

Surface Activation and Cleaning – Improve your Process

Plasma surface treatments can literally take your processes to the next level by delivering immediate improvements in both manufacturing and research applications.

Plasma technology is used to produce ultra-clean surfaces on the nano-scale, without any harsh waste chemicals. It’s also used to greatly improve the adhesion characteristics of a wide range of materials, including metals, glass, ceramics and a host of engineering polymers.

Henniker’s HPT range of plasma treatment systems for cleaning and surface activation are uniquely manufactured in the UK and backed by our real-world problem solving experience and exceptional levels of local support to deliver tangible and immediate benefits.

HPT-Series Henniker Plasma


Summer Upgrade Promotion Button

 Summer Upgrade PromotioN details

Order any single or dual gas inlet HPT-100 benchtop plasma treater and we will  automatically upgrade you to the larger capacity HPT-200 model  completely FREE!

Order any single or dual gas inlet HPT-300 benchtop plasma treater and we will automatically upgrade you to the larger capacity HPT-500 model completely FREE!

(Offer valid until 31st August 2016)

Simply click the contact us button below to be taken directly to the contact page to request your upgrade quotation valid until 31st August 2016.

Contact Us

 


 

We work harder than most to help you achieve the next level!

Trak Microwave Logo

“Our customers and operations demand reliability at every level and were a key factor in our decision to choose a UK based manufacturer of plasma treatment equipment.”

Tom Doak, Trak Microwave
 Improve your process – Benefits of plasma treatment
  • High value-added property to products
  • Improves surface preparation
  • Improve adhesion
  • Hyper-clean surfaces
  • Environmentally friendly technique
  • Making parts easier to bond, glue, print and paint
  • Treats 3D objects
  • Treat glass, metals, ceramics and engineering polymers

 

Categorised in: News & Events

Plasma Surface Activation of PEEK

 Case Study  |  Activation to improve PAD print adhesion

Company: Vention Medical | Region: Ireland | Sector: [PEEK] Medical Plastics | Date Published: August 2014
Vention Medical logo

ANSAmed, Vention, Medical Plastics – PEEK Activation

Vention Medical is a globally integrated solutions partner for the design, engineering and manufacturing of complex medical devices and components.
ANSAmed, a Vention Medical Company, provides advanced extrusions and catheter solutions to the global medical device industry.

With a focus on continuous  product innovation and process improvement, ANSAmed provides a comprehensive design, development and manufacturing services. Operating under stringent quality standards, ANSAmed’s extrusion products and  components conform to the tightest possible tolerances.

ANSAmed’s range of extrusions include single-lumen, multi-lumen and over the wire extrusion, tapered bump and multi-layer extrusion, balloon tubing, co-extrusion and braided tubing, along with contract medical device design and manufacture. ANSAmed’s custom extrusions and contract medical devices are supplied to the cardiology, peripheral vascular, neurovascular, CVC, urology, respiratory and other clinical markets.

 


PAD Print Ink Adhesion

 

ANSAmed sought our advice after discovering issues with the PAD printing of certain medical devices. The medical devices in question required regular, intricate printing & depth marks using the PAD Printing technique, which places a very thin layer of ink onto the surface.

In this instance the medical devices were made of PEEK and included  Catheters and Microcatheters, Nasogastric Feeding Tubes & Endotracheal Tubes, among others. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is an engineering thermoplastic with outstanding heat-resistance. The glass transition temperature is 144°C, the melting point 335°C and it is typically melt processed at 370°C.

These properties, although advantageous to the design engineer, often result in secondary assembly and decorating issues – bonding, printing, coating & painting. Henniker worked closely with ANSAmed’s Technology Team to identify a solution to these problems.

Case Study Vention Medical Printing Ink Adhesion - picture of PEEK Tubing

PEEK tubing with intricate printing & depth marks using the PAD Printing technique

 


our solution

A basic requirement for successful ink adhesion is spreading of the ink on substrate. Spreading  will  occur  if the surface  tension  of the ink  is  lower  than the  surface  free  energy  of  the  part.

After confirming that there were no underlying contamination issues, our team first of all determined the surface free energy of several PEEK devices using a range of in-house surface test methods, a common step in our process development method.

Surface Energy

Surface energy is defined as the excess energy at the surface of a material compared with the bulk material itself.  If the molecules of the liquid are attracted to each other more strongly than to the surface then the liquid won’t wet the surface very well, instead forming beads. Conversely, if there is a larger attraction to the surface then the liquid will spread out more.
It follows that if a particular surface has a higher surface energy, it will wet more easily and, since the ability to wet a surface is in turn a simple definition of the adhesion characteristics of the surface, it will be easier to glue/print/paint or bond to that surface. Values of surface energy of between 30-35 dynes were found for untreated PEEK whereas typical inks used in the process have surface tension values approximately 25% higher than this.

Plastic part displaying the poor inherent adhesion of paint to a plastic surface using the grid cut tester   Plastic surface displaying the improvement of paint adhesion after plasma treatment using the grid cut tester

Plasma Surface Treatment

A range of plasma treatments were then investigated to determine the quickest and most cost effective process to improve the surface wettability of the PEEK devices. After the initial trials were completed we were able to demonstrate a simple and effective process which was able to increase the PEEK surface energy to greater than 72 dynes with a total process cycle time of less than two minutes.

Contract Plasma Treatment

We were also able to provide ANSAmed with a contract treatment solution offering a quick turnaround contract plasma treatment service for both their small one-off requests and on-going production. Contract plasma treatment is a cost effective way of tapping into the unique benefits of plasma treatment where the cost of capital equipment isn’t justifiable, for example where one-off or short term contracts have been awarded.

Complete Satisfaction

A combination of our experience and knowledge relating to low surface energy materials, coupled with our ability to perform rapid testing and quickly develop a suitable process were invaluable to ANSAmed’s Technology Team. The process was quickly transferred to our in-house contract treatment team and continues to serve our client with a rapid, cost-effective solution to their specific printing problem.

“Henniker Plasma treatment has ultimately benefitted our business and will continue to contribute to  our successes in the future”

says Paul O’Donnell,
Technology Project Manager.

Visit our case study section for the downloadable version of this and other case studies


Categorised in: News & Events

How plasma treatment of a graphene membrane has potential for water desalination

Membranes at the limit

Researchers in the US show how plasma treatment of a graphene membrane has potential for water desalination.

Plasma treatment feature article graphene membrane has potential for water desalination

Read an excerpt from the article below:

plasma treatment of a graphene membrane

Membranes at the limit

Water desalination membranes can be created by etching nanometre-sized pores in a single layer of graphene.

Dong-Yeun Koh and Ryan P. Lively, courtesy of Nature Nanotechnology

The transport of molecules across a nanoporous membrane is the foundation of numerous separation and purification processes. The membranes must be selective by allowing the transport of some molecules, but not others, and the separation process can be improved by reducing the thickness of the membrane. The ultimate limit of this refinement is, of course, a one-atom-thick layer.

Graphene potentially offers such a membrane and the development of scalable methods for synthesizing the material has increased interest in this application. However, a pristine graphene monolayer is impermeable to all atoms and molecules due to its two-dimensional array of tightly packed carbon atoms. To  generate permeability and molecular selectivity, nanoscale defects need to be created in the material. Removing one carbon atom from a graphene lattice (a mono-vacancy) will, for example, form a pore with an area of 2.6 Å2 (ref. 2). By fabricating pores of specific sizes, and with sufficient areal density, it should be possible to develop membranes that offer exquisite molecular sieving properties and ultrahigh molecular fluxes. However, eliminating carbon atoms from graphene in a highly controlled manner is extremely challenging.

Recently, several researchers have begun to explore the potential of graphene membranes with nano- and atomic-scale defects. Selective gas transport through single and multilayered graphene membranes has, for example, been demonstrated. Furthermore, it has been shown that pore sizes in a free-standing graphene layer can be tailored between 1 μm and less than 10 nm (ref. 4). Writing in Nature Nanotechnology, Ivan Vlassiouk, Shannon Mahurin and colleagues now show that nanoporous graphene membranes can be controllably created using a plasma-etching process and the resulting membranes used to desalinate water.

Nanoporous graphene membranes
 Image courtesy of Nature Nanotechnology
 The researchers — who are based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, New Mexico State University and the University of Tennessee — first synthesized a single layer of graphene using chemical vapour deposition on a copper catalyst. The graphene was then transferred to a silicon nitride wafer with a single 5-μm channel, and nanometre-sized pores were created in the suspended graphene by exposing it to short bursts of oxygen plasma (Fig.1). Finally, the graphene–wafer composite was placed as a barrier between a salt solution and either air or water, and the water transport rates and salt rejection of the membranes measured. With an optimal plasma exposure time, a salt rejection of nearly 100%, combined with a high water flux, could be achieved.

Conventional polymeric membranes for water desalination operate based on a solution–diffusion mechanism in which water molecules sorb into the polymer and then diffuse through vacancies in the polymer network. This solution–diffusion model has also proved effective in describing nanoporous membranes fabricated out of zeolites, metal–organic frameworks and carbon molecular sieves. However, it is not clear how to mechanistically describe permeation in atomically thick nanoporous membranes, as many of the continuum-level assumptions used to describe solution–diffusion  permeation are no longer valid at this thickness limit.

Mahurin and colleagues show that the water permeability of their single-layer graphene membranes is astoundingly high (10–9 mol m m–2 s–1 Pa–1) when water vapour is on the downstream side of the membrane (similar to a pervaporative separation process). The ultrahigh fluxes in this case can most likely be attributed to subnanometre-sized droplet evaporation at the vapour/liquid interface. In the experiments with liquid on the downstream side (similar to standard osmotic processes), the researchers observed water permeabilities (10–14 mol m m–2  s–1  Pa–1) comparable to those of commercial seawater reverse osmosis membranes (1.6 × 10–14 mol m m–2  s–1  Pa–1), while still maintaining high salt rejection. It is also important to note that single-sheet graphene membranes are 250 times thinner than the separating layer in commercial reverse osmosis membranes, so an improvement in water flux of at least 250 times could be expected under the same driving force.

Although research into nanoporous graphene membranes is still in its early stages, the proof-of-concept experiments of Mahurin and colleagues highlight the need for more insight into how to scale such two-dimensional membranes into devices that can offer meaningful water desalination productivities.

To view the remaining part of this article please use the link below

Categorised in: News & Events

Henniker are pleased to announce our new exclusive distributor for France – Altec Equipment

New exclusive distributor for France

We are delighted to announce that Altec Equipment have been appointed as our new exclusive distributor for France.

New exclusive distributor for France - Altec Equipment logo

Altec, based in the Paris area, are an established and respected supplier of related technology in the areas of vacuum and surface science and bring a wealth of technical and commercial experience with them.  We are looking forward to supporting them in their plans to support and further develop our  French customer base.

Visit our representatives page for contact details

Categorised in: News & Events

Henniker to showcase plasma treatment at the 16th Annual Composites Conference 2016

Henniker to showcase plasma treatment at the 16th Annual Composites Conference

We will be joining delegates and fellow exhibitors from around the UK for the 16th Annual Composites conference at the University of Manchester on the 11th May 2016. The conference looks at the opportunities and challenges faced by the UK composites industry as well as focusing on developing and supporting a UK supply chain.

As the UK’s leading manufacturer of plasma treatment equipment & processes, Henniker have been making significant contributions to the application of plasma technology in UK composites manufacture and will be on-hand to discuss  the results of our 3 year involvement in UK’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). If you would like to learn about plasma treatment of composites please visit us in the exhibition area on 11th May or if you cannot attend feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.

16TH Annual Composites Conference 2016

Henniker Plasma to attend the Composites UK Annual Conference

Contact us here

Details of the Meetings Programme

09:30     Registration and coffee

10:00     Welcome and introduction – Andrew Dugmore, Composites UK Chair

Opportunities for the UK in the Global Market

10:25     How does the UK compete in the global market? – Nigel O’Dea, Lucintel
10.50     Delivering the UK Composites Strategy –  launch of the 2016 strategy – Alex Aucken, Solvay and CLF Chair

11:15     Break

Delivering, developing and diversifying the UK Supply Chain

11:45     High value composites manufacture – Speaker TBC
12:05     Affordable composites – Faye Smith, UKTI
12:25     Large, low volume composite structures –  James Henderson, Atkins and CSG Chair
12:35     Cross sector sustainability challenges – Stella Job, Composites UK and Chair of CLF Sustainability Group
12:50     Panel discussion

13:00     Lunch (+ tour of NCCEF for CUK members)

Leading the way in Composites Manufacturing – key results from cross-industry programmes

14:00     Composites Innovation Cluster – industry collaboration to achieve more – Matt Sellens, Formaplex
14:20     CIMComp – development of next-generation composites manufacturing processes – Andrew Long, University of Nottingham
14:40     EXHUME (recycling and end of life) – improving the environmental footprint – Gary Leeke, Cranfield University
15:00     Composite Technician Apprenticeship – improving skills across the sector – Brian Thornton, National Composites Centre

Breaching New Markets

15:10     Rail sector  – Eddie Blackett, iLecsys
15:30     Oil and Gas – Simon Eves, Pipex
15:40     Panel discussion
16:00     Close & Drinks Reception

16:30 – 17:30 – Annual General Meeting – (Members only)

16:30    Optional tour of NCCEF for non-members

Categorised in: News & Events

Managing lab consumable effectiveness through hydrophilic plasma treatment

Managing lab consumable effectiveness through hydrophilic plasma treatment

Hydrophilic Plasma Treatment

Our feature article this month focuses on the problem of reducing protein absorption on lab consumables through applied plasma treatment techniques. The article, featured on GEN, was originally released by Wheaton and features their own deep well micro-plates technologies. Wheaton reports on the use of ‘Advanced Plasma Enhanced Vapour Deposition’ to treat polypropylene, creating hydrophilic surfaces without the use of any coating, additives, or mould releasing agents that could subsequently leach, causing interferences in e.g. chromatography applications. The article clearly demonstrates how modern hydrophilic plasma treatment techniques can provide an edge over competitors in this increasingly competitive field of bio-medical plastics. For more information on how Henniker’s techniques can achieve similar results see our dedicated section of the website in which we discuss the treatment of medical plastics.

Henniker’s dedicated medical plastics area

Courtesy of GEN –

Protein Adsorption Can Be Reduced if the Right Lab Consumables Are Used

Manage the Interplay of Proteins, Surfaces, and Buffers to Keep Your Valuable Biomedical Products from Binding to Your Labware

AntiBIND tm -henniker-plasma-treatment-lab-consumables-protein-absorption

AntiBIND™ 96 Deep Well Microplate, Volume 0.5 mL with Conical Well Design
(picture courtesy of http://wheaton.com/ )

 

Protein adsorption, the nonspecific binding of protein molecules to solid surfaces, has always complicated the development as well as the commercialization of protein therapeutics. During research and development, proteins bind to different lab consumables such as microplates, storage tubes, pipette tips, and centrifuge tubes. During commercialization, proteins may bind to the primary container (glass or plastic vial) storing them.

In commercial packaging applications, protein adsorption issues can be offset. The amount of protein that will be adsorbed is calculated, and additional protein in that amount is added to compensate for the anticipated loss. This expedient, however, means additional cost, which is borne by the customers.

In research and development applications, protein adsorption issues are less straightforward. Accounting and compensating for protein adsorption is difficult because researchers are usually working with scarce samples and are looking for unknown target proteins or markers that are rare and present in very low quantities.

While the process of adsorption has been extensively studied, it is still an enigma. The process is complex, the result of the interplay of multiple factors.1 These factors, however, can be grouped into three categories: protein properties, labware surface qualities, and buffer formulation parameters (Table 1).2,3

Most studies have shown that the adsorption process is mainly driven by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions between proteins and the solid surfaces they interact with. If these interactions could be eliminated or even just decreased, then protein adsorption would be decreased and, consequently, protein recovery would be increased, leading to lower operational costs, more accurate results, and a higher probability of finding the therapeutic hit protein.

To counter hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions, many of the new low-protein-binding consumables and packaging containers add a hydrophilic layer. This hydrophilic layer can be obtained by employing

1) a hydrophilic coating such as siliconization or different mold release agents; 2) hydrophilic copolymer blends; or 3) plasma treatment technology to modify plastic surfaces from hydrophobic to hydrophilic.

The biggest disadvantage of a hydrophilic coating or the use of a copolymer is the interacting and leaching of the hydrophilic species into solution in present of commonly used chromatography solvents . With plasma treatment technology, the lab consumable surface is modified at a molecular level to give a hydrophilic functionality without creating any species that could leach into solution and interfere with the sample.

To read the full article click here

Categorised in: News & Events

Surface Cleaning of Glass Lenses

Case Study  |  Removal of surface coatings on glass lenses

Company: Hoya | Region: UK | Sector: [Glass Lenses] Optical | Date Published: June 2014

Hoya logo


Plasma Cleaning for Quality Assurance

Hoya Lens has had a presence in the UK for over 30 years in which time they have brought some of the best quality lens materials to the UK optical market.

Hoya creates the very latest lens designs and applies them to the thinnest and most durable lens materials. They are then able to enhance visual comfort even further with the addition of anti-reflection coatings, scratch-resistant coatings and easy to clean treatments.

Hoya’s production plant in Wrexham, North Wales approached Henniker when they recognised a need to improve existing stringent quality testing procedures of their glass lenses.

 


Aims and Objectives

Almost all of the lens coatings manufactured at Hoya are hydrophobic. These coatings need to be removed during quality testing. One method involves using a polishing compound to manually remove the coating, which is both labour intensive and can suffer from inconsistencies. Hoya’s technical team identified a need for an alternative process to reduce these inconsistencies and approached Henniker regarding plasma cleaning techniques as a possible alternative.

Neil Jowitt from Hoya explains:

‘The unit we wanted was small, quick and easy to use and the solution identified by Henniker fit the brief perfectly.’

 


Challenges

The main challenge was to identify suitable plasma cleaner parameters for the delicate lens materials which could deliver repeatable and reliable results. Henniker worked with Hoya to achieve this goal before delivering a cost effective bench-top solution having a simple operator interface.

 


Outcome

A glass lens prior to plasma treatment displaying its inherent hydrophobic properties           A glass lens after being plasma cleaned displaying hydrophilic characteristics

          Before Plasma Treatment                                       After Plasma Treatment

“We find ourselves now having better results with regards to consistency. There is less time spent cleaning the lenses manually with less residue left to contaminate other processes.”

Neil Jowitt/Hoya

Visit our case study section for the downloadable version of this and other case studies

 

 

Categorised in: News & Events

Henniker to exhibit at the CiC PSG Forum

Discover how the Composites Innovation Cluster is tackling these challenges and creating future opportunities for suppliers and OEMs.

Henniker to exhibit at the CiC PSG Forum

The event

Henniker are to exhibit at the upcoming showcase the ‘Facing Industry Challenges in the Composites Sector – CiC Open Forum’. This event will realise the key technical challenges faced by companies in the composites industry through a series of presentations, followed by talks by partners from the Composites Innovation Cluster (CiC) which is working to address these, details of our involvement in the programme will be presented by the project lead partner NetComposites.

In addition, Axillium Research will be running a workshop to provide further discussion around these challenges, the outcome from which can be taken forward through collaboration and/or public investment opportunities when these are made available.

Why attend?

This free-to-attend event will…..

  • Highlight industry challenges.
  • Enable networking with 31 partner and cluster lead companies listed on the right as well as other attendees.
  • Form potential collaborations between you and CiC partner companies.

How do I sign up?

The full event program is available to download here.

Registration is free-of-charge but essential via our Eventbrite page: http://cicpsg2016.eventbrite.co.uk. (Registration is available for single day attendance or both days)

Interested to know more about our involvement in CiC forum then visit this page  The CiC UK Biocomp project

Categorised in: News & Events

Johnson Matthey Technology Centre invest in Henniker TEM plasma cleaner

Johnson-Matthey-Technology-Centre-invest-in-Henniker-TEM-plasma-cleaner

Johnson Matthey Technology Centre invest in Henniker TEM plasma cleaner

We are delighted to announce that, following extensive evaluation, Johnson Matthey Technology Centre have chosen Henniker’s HPT-100 plasma system for dedicated and controlled cleaning of TEM samples. The evaluation also resulted in a collaborative application note entitled “The effective and controlled plasma cleaning of TEM sample holders”.

Dr. Dogan Ozkaya (Johnson Matthey Technology Centre) commented;

In conclusion, the Henniker HPT plasma cleaner was observed to be suitable for TEM preparation purposes because it offers amazing control over how much carbon is removed from samples. It is suitable for catalyst samples on carbon for hydrocarbon contamination cleaning in the TEM.

The full application note is available for download here –

The effective and controlled plasma cleaning of TEM sample holders

For more information on the effects of plasma cleaning in microscopy applications please contact us or head over to the website where you will find information on TEM cleaning and the equipment we produce.

Categorised in: News & Events

Plasma cleaning of TEM Sample Holders

New application note on the effective and controlled plasma cleaning of TEM sample holders now available.

Henniker's TEM Plasma Cleaner for Microscopy

Plasma Cleaning of TEM sample holders
Henniker HPT-100 Plasma Cleaner with Jeol TEM sample holder adapter. Continuously variable power output from 0-100W and dual digital MFC gas mixing. Samples were introduced via the front feedthough adapter and cleaned with Ar:O2 95:5 mixture at low power (20W and 50W) in 30sec time steps. Results for accumulated treatment time are presented.

Preparation and Examination Methods
A holey carbon coated Cu TEM grid. The samples were examined in the JEM 2800 (Scanning) Transmission Electron Microscope using the following instrumental conditions: Voltage (kV) 200; C2 aperture (um) 70 and 40; Bright-field imaging mode using CCD High magnification lattice resolution imaging mode using CCD

A transmission electron microscope images displaying the analysis regions to be treated

Cleaning progression for selected thinned analysis region showing gradual loss of carbon from the region followed by gradual loss from thicker wall regions

Microscopic images displaying the analysis regions that have been treatedMicroscopic images displaying the analysis regions that have been treated

Conclusion
This work shows the effectiveness of the plasma treatment capability of the Henniker Plasma cleaner at different times and power levels.
The images taken from identical location using a finder holey carbon grid showed a gradual loss of carbon from a small thinned area of carbon. First the thinned carbon was removed (or eaten away). Then the thick walls were observed to lose carbon from the edges.

Dr. Dogan Ozkaya (Johnson Matthey Technology Centre);

“In conclusion, the Henniker HPT plasma cleaner was observed to be suitable for TEM preparation purposes because it offers amazing control over how much carbon is removed from samples. It is suitable for catalyst samples on carbon for hydrocarbon contamination cleaning in the TEM.”

Acknowledgements
We gratefully acknowledge the work of Dr. Dogan Ozkaya and the talented Microscopy group members of Johnson Matthey Technology Centre who provided the detailed analyses presented in this note.

Download the full application note

You can visit our other relevant pages on Plasma Cleaners for Microscopy here

Categorised in: News & Events