How to Plasma Treat the inner surface of long thin plastic tubes?

Atmospheric Plasma Treatment of long, thin plastic tubes.

Many plastics used for biomedical applications, e.g. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), have the disadvantage of inherently low surface energy which can make them unsuitable for bonding. In a number of applications it would be advantageous to increase the surface energy not only on the outer surface of a device but on the inner surface, e.g. of long thin tubes. This would promote wetting and improve flow characteristics.

How to Plasma Treat the inner surface of long thin plastic tubes?

This article explores how atmospheric plasmas may have the potential to treat the inner surface of such devices.

Feature Article - Plasma Processes and Polymers Journal Illustration

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Treatment inside Flexible Polymer Tubing

Cleaning the inner surface of long, thin plastic tubes


An atmospheric argon plasma jet has been used to explore the plasma penetration inside tubes of small diameter and the plasma treatment effect on the inner tube surface. The goal of this paper is to show how the tube size can influence the plasma jet penetration and the resulting surface effects on polyethylene tubes with diameters varying between 0.28 mm and 3.00 mm. Optical emission spectroscopy and light emission images have been used to investigate the distribution of active species along the tube length. To examine the plasma treatment effect on the inner tube surface, capillary action, water contact angle measurements and XPS analysis have been used. The results presented in this paper will clearly demonstrate the great potential of atmospheric pressure plasma jets for inner tube surface modification.


  • atmospheric pressure plasma
  • flexible tubes
  • plasma jet
  • plasma penetration
  • surface modification
  • plasma treatment of plastic
  • plastics

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Onyshchenko, I., De Geyter, N., Nikiforov, A. Y. and Morent, R. (2015), Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Penetration inside Flexible Polymeric Tubes. Plasma Processes Polym., 12: 271–284. doi: 10.1002/ppap.201400190
Author Information: Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Research Unit Plasma Technology, Department of Applied Physics, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium
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