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Plasma Treatment of Plastics Explained Simply

This page was previously a blog which was uploaded in early 2016 and went on to be our most popular blog of 2016 and one of our most read pages of 2017! As the blog has proved useful, we’ve updated it and published it as a permanent fixture to the site with the purpose of explaining the process of Plasma Treating “non-stick” plastics to improve its adhesive qualities simply.

Traditionally “non-stick” plastics include Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and EPDM, all of which have a low surface energy of between 29 – 36 Dynes/cm² (mN/m).

These low surface energy materials mean that no matter how much cleaning or abrasion of the surface, they remain at best difficult or often impossible to paint, coat, print or bond to without resulting to harsh solvent based primers or high temperature flame torch treatments.

How does the Plasma Treatment of Plastics improve adhesion?

Plasma Treatment Plastics

It is widely recognised that the ideal surface to bond to should be Polar, Dust Free, Non-Porous, Smooth, Dry, Clean and Wettable.

Having a clean, dry, dust free, smooth and non-porous surface requires little discussion, however, ensuring the surface is polar and has good “wettability” is a more complex matter.

Throughout engineering, there are well known methods of increasing the polarity and surface energy and plastics and rubbers which include; hard, environmentally damaging wet chemical treatments, high temperature flame torch treatment, high voltage corona discharge and the plasma treatment of plastics. The Plasma Treatment of plastics is a highly effective, long lasting method of increasing the surface energy of plastics and rubbers, such as Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE).

Which components are suitable for Plasma Treatment?

  • Extruded products
  • Web material
  •  Complex three dimensional injection moulded parts, for example, instrument panels etc.

Used throughout a vast amount of industries, Plasma Treatment of plastics and rubbers is the method of choice for solving their problems of adhesion. During Plasma Surface Activation the component undergoes an environmentally friendly process which does not alter the bulk properties to the treated part and does not mark, discolour or damage the component in any way.

Following Plasma Surface Activation, the material will now have the required surface energy to ensure good wetting and adhesion of printing inks, paints, adhesives, and coating, etc. Once the material has undergone Plasma Surface activation, there is no need for the use of environmentally damaging solvent based pre-treatments, which has the potential to lower work place hazards and benefit your bottom line.

Want to find out more?

Call us logoAre you having problems with adhesion? Are you looking to super clean metals, ceramics or glass? The Dyne Technology technical engineers are only a phone call away.

Give us a call on +44(0) 1543 411 460 to discuss whether Plasma Treatment could have a place within your manufacturing process.