Vacuum Plasma Treatment Improves Adhesion for Aston Martin
The luxury automotive manufacturer who needs little introduction, Aston Martin, has utilised Plasma Treating into their manufacturing process.
Aston Martin has successfully installed the latest in High Technology Vacuum Plasma systems to surface treat the Polypropylene upper body components for their highly anticipated new vehicle release. Installed in their state of the art facilities at Gaydon, the VacuTEC is set to provide a wealth of benefits for Aston Martin’s manufacturing process.
Working with the engineers at Lichfield based Dyne Technology, the team has developed a process to solve the common problem of achieving strong adhesion to low surface energy materials, also known as low or non-polar material’s such as PP,PE,HPDE and many more.
Aston Martin faced the problem of adhesion as high quality hand crafted leather trim was to be bonded to the interior trim mouldings to give the interior of the vehicle the iconic Aston Martin style. The interior trim mouldings require surface treatment prior to adhesion and vacuum plasma presented the ideal solution to modify the surface of the interior trim by increasing its polarity.
“Dyne Technology were the perfect partner for us, they offered excellent local support, adopted a flexible approach to ensure we received the solution that was right for us and were both technically and commercially competitive. An unbeatable combination.” – Carl Daniels, Spokesman for Aston Martin
How does Vacuum Plasma help to solve the problems of adhesion?
The ideal solution for the surface activation of the interior trim moldings is the highly effective Vacuum Plasma unit – the VacuTEC. The VacuTEC is composed of a large vacuum plasma chamber, using a vacuum pump most of the air is removed from this sealed chamber. The chamber pressure will then reach the required level of remaining air (or other gas) and is subjected to a strong electrical field.
This strong electrical field ionises air and other gases, this super ionised air, also known as plasma then occupies the treatment chamber. The resulting modified surface has a strong chemical attraction to inks, paint, coatings, adhesives etc. leading to significantly enhanced surface energy and therefore adhesion.
The VacuTEC installed at Aston Martin by Dyne Technology Ltd has a capacity of nearly 1m³ with two internal treatment trays. The VacuTEC is not only easy to use but incredibly effective, the unit can treat a complete car set of upper body environment in one go with a treatment time of just 45 seconds.
Taking back control
The installation of the “VacuTEC” has given Aston Martin the ability to take complete control of the plasma treating process in house. This brings a large number of benefits, discounting the need to use external suppliers to treat parts prior to build, this reduces costs, gives control of time scales, eliminates the risk of damage during process and ensures process consistency.
The VacuTEC is mounted on wheels to allow easy relocation throughout the production facility and comes complete with its own vacuum pump. Dyne Technology engineers worked closely with Aston Martin throughout the project conducting a large range of process trials and studies before agreeing a detailed specification. After delivery, Dyne Technology’s UK based experts installed and commissioned the unit before conducting on-site training for the Aston Martin maintenance and production teams.