Knowledge Base

Everything you need to understand plasma technology all in one place.

Knowledge Articles

Let’s Talk About… Measuring Surface Energy

What is surface energy and why is it important?

In this ‘Let’s talk About…’ article we discuss the measurement of surface energy and ultimately, how plasma treatment can be used to alter surface energy in order to improve adhesion and bonding.

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Materials Library - Aluminium

Although most metals exhibit high surface energies, the absorption of water vapour and especially organic particulate matter from the environment results in an invisible layer of contamination of low surface energy. This layer is effectively and efficiently removed by plasma cleaning, resulting in greatly increased wettability and much improved adhesion characteristics.

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Materials Library - Carbon Fibre

Carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) are formed using both thermoplastic and thermoset polymers and typically exhibit low surface energy and poor bonding characteristics. Plasma treatment significantly increases the surface energy of CFRPs resulting in much elevated bond strengths.

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Materials Library - Nylon

The majority of common engineering polymers have inherently low surface energy and therefore exhibit poor adhesion characteristics. Plasma treatment offers a reliable and environmentally friendly method of both cleaning and activating the polymer surface, increasing the surface energy and wettability, resulting in greatly improved adhesion characteristics.

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