Q
Can I treat only specific regions of an object?
A

Parts can be masked if treatment is undesirable on some areas, however plasma treatment is not usually detrimental and so most parts are wholly treated.

Q
Can I Plasma treat material in-line?
A

We supply both batch-plasma treaters (small and large scale) and also in-line plasma treaters (atmospheric plasma ‘pen’). In-line plasma treaters have a relatively small treatment area and so usually require multiples to cover larger areas and/or robot handling for 3D objects.

Q
Does plasma treatment generate any harmful waste?
A

The main by-products of batch-plasma treaters are CO, CO2 and water vapour, none of which are present in toxic quantities. In-line plasma treaters produce quantities of NOx which are removed with standard extraction hoods.

Q
What is surface energy?
A

Surface energy is defined as the excess energy at the surface of a material compared with the
bulk material itself.

When a liquid comes into contact with a surface, 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.

Q
How does Plasma treatment increase surface energy?
A

Plasma treatments aim to convert low energy surfaces to higher energy surfaces by attaching oxygen containing species to the surface.

Q
How do I measure the effectiveness of Plasma treatment?
A

From the definitions above, a measurement of surface wetting or surface energy can indicate the effectiveness of a plasma treatment. We provide a range of measurement techniques including surface energy test inks and pens as well as contact angle measurement instruments, which measure the shape and angle of a drop of liquid in contact with the surface.