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Plasma Treatment in the Automotive Industry

Plasma Treatment in the Automotive Industry

Automotive Applications

Many automotive assemblies and components benefit from plasma pre-treatment prior to encapsulation, printing, or painting processes and this pre-treatment is key to ensure a reduction in failure rates.

Assemblies are often a mixture of engineering materials which naturally have low surface energy. Plasma pre-treatment alters (increases) the surface energy of these materials by cleaning and surface activation, making it easier to bond, paint and print onto.

Typical Automotive Applications:

  • Improved wettability of exterior components prior to painting
  • Plasma activation of topper pads prior to laminating
  • In-line atmospheric plasma treatment of circuits to improve wire bond adhesion
  • Improved adhesion of electronic connectors prior to encapsulation
  • Localised treatment of headlight assemblies to prevent moisture ingress 

Plasma pre-treatments can be applied as part of an in-line process or as part of a batch process. Examples of Henniker’s Cirrus atmospheric plasma unit, which is integrated with a robot arm, and also Henniker’s automated batch processing system (Nebula) are shown below.

Atmospheric in-line plasma treatment for Automotive component parts prior to encapsulation (left), and an advanced vacuum plasma treatment of Automotive PDC parking sensors for improved paint adhesion. (right)


Atmospheric in-line plasma treatment

The Plasma nozzle was integrated into the assembly line, and localized plasma cleaning and activation of the bond line and electrical connection posts is used to improve adhesion.

Advanced vacuum plasma treatment

PDC parking sensors undergo plasma pre-treatment in the Henniker Nebula Advanced Plasma System. The system includes a barcode scanner for traceability and delivers a uniform increase in surface energy across the whole array of sensors in under 5 minutes.

For more information on Plasma Treatment for the Automotive Industry please contact us or visit our dedicated automotive area here.


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  • Huf
  • Kingspan
  • BOC
  • Maclaren
  • Cambridge Uni
  • Warwick Uni
  • Morgan Ceramics
  • QMUL
  • University Bradford
  • BAE
  • Imperial College London
  • Heriot Watt Uni
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