FAQ's

  • What is Plasma Treatment?

    Plasma is generally described as an ionized gas or as an electrically neutral medium of positive and negative particles. "Ionised" refers to the presence of free electrons which are not bound to an atom or molecule. Plasma or "Radiant Matter" as it was known, was first identified by Sir William Crook in 1879. Radiant Matter was later called "Plasma" by Irving Langmuir in 1928. Plasma is the most common type of matter in the known universe whether measured by mass or volume. Every star is a giant ball of plasma, even the space between all of the stars is composed of plasma. Plasma is considered to be the 4th state of matter after solid, liquid & gas. In general terms, when you add enough energy to atoms or molecules, what happens very quickly is that the electrons around the nucleus start to "boil off", the temperature becomes too high for them to stay in orbit around the nucleus. Plasma discharge can be used for surface modification.

  • Can I treat 3 dimensional shaped parts with plasma?

    Plasma can be created in a Vacuum chamber or be ejected from an Atmospheric Plasma nozzle so treating a wide variety of shapes is possible.

  • Can Vacuum Plasma get right into corners and grooves?

    Yes, in fact the plasma effect is even more concentrated in corners

  • Will Plasma surface modification alter the mass of the parts treated?
    No, the mass of your parts remains unchanged.
  • Will I need a factory vacuum system?

    We usually equip each Vacuum plasma system with its own integrated pump so there is no need for you to have your own factory vacuum system.

  • How long will it take to treat my parts in a Vacuum Plasma chamber?

    Typical process time range from 20 - 100 seconds in a vacuum plasma chamber.

  • What materials can I process in a Vacuum Plasma chamber?

    Most materials are readily treatable in a vacuum plasma chamber. Only materials that significantly "outgas" under vacuum conditions are to be avoided.

  • Can I partially Plasma treat a surface?
    Yes, any part of the surface can be masked to shield it from the effects of the plasma.
  • How fast can I treat with Atmospheric Plasma nozzles?
    Typical treatment speeds of up to 30m/min are common, for higher speeds additional nozzles can be added.
  • Can I clean surfaces with Plasma?
    Plasmas are a mixture of both charged particles and neutrals (atoms, radicals & molecules) and can react with a wide range of materials. Plasmas are widely used for the cleaning of surfaces, removing organic contamination from metal, rubber and plastics. Plasma Cleaning is a "Dry" cleaning process and can replace environmentally damaging chemicals e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons (trichloroethylene) and is ideal for the surface cleaning of metal pressings/fabrications before bonding, sealing, painting and the removal of organic residues or oxidation from surfaces prior to bonding, soldering or wire bonding on a variety of metals e.g. gold, silver, titanium, copper.
  • What temperature does Plasma operate at?
    Typically the surface of the part being treated will be raised by no more than 10 ºC. Vacuum plasma operates at around 20 - 50 ºC. and Atmospheric Plasma at around 230ºC, this is much cooler than that of a normal gas flame.
  • Does Atmospheric Plasma produce any bi-products?
    Unlike corona treatment Atmospheric Plasma does not produce any ozone, however various oxides of nitrogen can be produced. An extraction system should be used to ensure safe removal.
  • Does Atmospheric plasma require any special gasses?
    No, Atmospheric plasma simply requires an oil-free and dry compressed air supply and a standard 240V 13 Amp electrical supply.
  • How close to the surface should I position my Atmospheric Plasma nozzles?
    Typically between 8 - 20mm, depending on the materials to be treated and the required treatment levels.
  • What is Corona Treatment?
    Corona is a visible electrical discharge which occurs when a high voltage, high frequency electrical potential is applied to a small diameter electrode in relatively close proximity to an electrical ground. The resulting electrical discharge is known as a "Corona Discharge". This corona discharge will cause partial ionization of the surrounding atmosphere and can be used for surface modification.
  • How does Corona Treatment work?
    To obtain good adhesion to materials that have a low surface energy i.e. low or non-polar materials like PP, PE, HDPE etc. we create a high voltage, high frequency electrical discharge or corona discharge in close proximity to the part to be treated. This high energy corona discharge is attracted to the material severing the molecular bonds on the surface. These severed bonds are now free to attach to free radicals and other particles that exist in the highly active corona discharge environment. The resulting formation of additional polar groups on the material surface have a strong chemical attraction to inks, paint, coatings, adhesives etc. leading to significantly enhanced surface energy and therefore adhesion.
  • Does Corona Treatment produce any bi-products?
    Ozone is produced as a natural consequence of the high voltage discharge used to create corona treatment. Ozone is an allotropic form of oxygen, and exists at room temperature as an unstable gas with a sharp, characteristic odour. It can usually be detected by its odour at concentrations as low as 0.01 to 0.05 ppm, which are below the permissible exposure level of 0.1ppm. It is easily and safely managed by exhaust and filtration. We supply a standard range of ozone filters with flow sensors to control extraction air flows.
  • Does line speed affect the results of Corona Treatment?
    Yes, the higher line speed, or the higher throughput of products, the more Corona power is required. We can easily calculate the need of treatment power, and specify the number of electrodes and size of Corona Generator required.
  • Is Corona Treatment an in-line or batch process?
    It can be either. In most cases, corona equipment is integrated into the existing production equipment.
  • What materials can I treat?
    Both conductive and non-conductive materials can be treated. Most polymer based materials are easily treated including: PP, PE. HDPE, LDPE, PET, BOPP and many more.
  • What parts can be treated?
    Dyne Technology supplies solutions to help our customers improve the surface energy of their plastic & rubber components to ensure improved bonding of printing inks, paints, adhesives etc. Our customers list includes many in the following industries: medical, electronics, automotive component, cable, ophthalmic, pipe, printing, packaging, domestic appliance, cosmetics packaging, food and beverage packaging.
  • Can I over-treat my material?
    Yes over-treating is possible. Over-treating causes damage to the material by breaking up the surface molecules and creating a surface layer of low molecular weight dust particles that block adhesion of coatings, adhesives or inks.
  • Will the treatment wear off?
    The shelf life of pre-treated materials ranges from hours to years, depending on the material, its formulation, how it was treated and its exposure to elevated temperature after treatment. Material purity is the most important factor. Shelf life is limited by the presence of low molecular weight components such as antiblock agents, mould release, antistatics, etc. Eventually, these components migrate to the surface of clean polymers. It is therefore recommended to print or bond to the material soon after treatment. However, once the treated surface has been interfaced with a coating, ink, adhesive, or another material, the bond becomes permanent.
  • How do I measure my treatment level?
    You can measure the surface energy or Dyne Level of your material by using of Dyne Test Pens /Fluids or by contact angle measurement. Please visit our "Measurement" page for further information.
  • What does Dyne Level / mN/m mean?
    The Dyne level reflects the surface wettability - the higher the Dyne level, the better the wettability/adhesion. The Dyne is the unit of force equal to the force that imparts an acceleration of 1cm/sec/sec to a mass of 1 gram. 1 dyne (mN/m) = 0.00001 Newtons, or = 1gm/sec² , or 1 Newton = 100,000 dynes.



    It is often necessary to bond plastic materials to metals or other plastic materials, or simply paint or print onto a plastic surface. In order to successfully accomplish this, the liquid adhesive, paint or ink should be able to wet the surface of the material. Wettability depends on one specific property of the surface: Surface energy. The surface energy of the solid substrate directly affects how well a liquid wets the surface. To achieve good wettability the surface energy of the substrate needs to exceed that of the surface tension of the liquid by around 2 - 10 mN/m (Dynes). Wettability is easily demonstrated by contact angle measurements. The contact angle is the angle between the tangent line at the contact point and the horizontal line of the solid surface (fig 1).



    When a liquid droplet is set on a smooth solid horizontal surface, it may spread out over substrate and the contact angle will approach zero if complete wetting takes place. Conversely, if wetting is partial, the resulting contact angle reaches equilibrium in the range material's surface energy and positively affect adhesive characteristics by creating bonding sites. Various methods of measuring wettability are available: Contact Angle Measurement, Dyne inks, Dyne pens etc. The table below sets out typical values for a range of substrates and typically applied liquids (fig 2).
  • What is Plasma Cleaning?

    Plasma Cleaning is a "Dry" cleaning process and can replace environmentally damaging chemicals such as chlorinated hydrocarbons (trichloroethylene). Plasma is ideal for the surface cleaning of metal pressings/fabrications before bonding, sealing, painting and the removal of organic residues from surfaces prior to bonding, sealing, painting, soldering or wire bonding on a variety of metals e.g. gold, silver, titanium, copper or the removal of oxidation from plastics, rubbers and elastomers.

  • What is Cold Plasma?

    Cold Plasma is a low energy, low temperature Plasma that is created in Atmospheric conditions (not in a Vacuum chamber).  It can be used to clean and/or activate surfaces and is ideal for treating materials that would otherwise be damaged by the higher temperature conventional atmospheric plasma system.

     

  • What is Surface Energy?

    Surface energy may be defined as the excess energy at the surface of a material compared to the bulk.  Every solid surface has a specific and measurable Surface Energy.  The unit of measurement for Surface Energy is the Dyne/cm² or mN/m.

  • What is Surface Tension?

    Surface Tension may be defined as the excess energy at the surface of a material compared to the bulk. Every liquid has a specific and measureable Surface Tension.  The unit of measurement for Surface Tension is the Dyne/cm² or mN/m.

  • Do you offer service contracts on all plasma treatment and corona treatment equipment?

    Yes we do.  Dyne Technology Ltd has a dedicated Customer Support Team who can assist in ensuring your plasma treatment and corona treatment equipment is maintained and working at optimum level.

    Contact us for further information.

  • Are service parts for plasma and corona equipment available in the UK?

    Yes they are, Dyne Technology Ltd can supply all your plasma treatment and corona treatment equipment service parts from the UK.  Please contact our Customer Support Team for assistance.

  • Do you offer Training?

    Dyne Technology Ltd runs a one-day training course at their Technology Centre in Lichfield, Staffordshire.  During the day delegates will learn the fundamentals of Surface Energy, Surface Tension, Surface Measurement, Plasma Treatment and Corona Treatment.  The day is split between laboratory demonstrations, hands-on testing and class room learning.

    Alternatively, Dyne Technology can tailor the training to meet customer requirements and can be done off site (or on site).  Please contact us for further information.

  • Where do I find the Dyne Testing website?

    You can visit the Dyne Testing website at www.dynetesting.com

  • Why is Bonding to Plastic & Rubber so Difficult?

    Read here how Managing Director of Dyne Technology, Mr Chris Lines explains why it is so difficult and how you can overcome this problem.

    http://www.dynetechnology.co.uk/pdfs/BondingtoPlasticandRubber.pdf

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