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plasma surface coating.

Plasma Coating

The stage at which the desired effect is applied to the surface,
it may be functional or decorative.

Functional examples for plasma coating:

  • Plasma Priming

  • Low or high friction

  • Abrasion / scratch resistance

  • Corossion resistant surfaces

  • Hydrophobic/Hydrophilic

Decorative examples:

  • Plasma coating with precious metals

  • Color without paint

During plasma coating material is introduced to the plasma in the form of a sacrificial target.
The material removed from the target is deposited on the product being treated.
Or a gas that is broken down and its component parts, these are deposited on the product being coated.
Often plasma coating is a final stage after plasma cleaning, and or etching.
The first stages ensure a good preparation for the final coating.

Plasma primer

Increase surface energy for bonding.

Plasma primer is in most cases preceded by plasma and plasma cleaning or plasma etching processes. Our Plasma systems with industrial touch screen controls can be programed to carry out the multiple steps without removing the product from the chamber.
The newly etched surface may not be stable in UV or temperature and will return to its low energy state. Plasma priming in effect locks and protects the surface whilst further improving the adhesion or wetting properties.
Depending on the material and the storage conditions the desired effect from etching may reduce with time. Plasma priming extends greatly the time that the treated part remains bondable and can even improve the bond strength.
This is especially effective when bonding such materials as PTFE, PFA, Silicone rubbers, POM and other high-performance polymers.

The deposited primer layer is extremly thin but also highly uniform, it can replace processes using solvents. The functional groups of the plasma primer can be physical and chemical adapted according to the application (optimized for adhesive, paint, printing ink etc,)

Friction-reducing coatings plasma coatings

Friction can cause problems:

In automated processes for example, individual components can stick to each other during conveying or packaging, which can lead to process stops or uneven fill quantities.
For dynamic seals excessive wear can occur if the sliding properties are not corrected.
The tribological properties of plastics are often highly frictional. In many areas however, such as the two examples above low-friction surfaces are required either to meet efficiency or quality objectives.
The remedy for these cases is a friction-reducing coating with plasma. For this purpose organic components are applied to the surface, which leads to reduced adhesion.

Abrasion / scratch resistance

This is generally achieved by depositing a diamond like layer on the surface. This layer consists primarily of carbon. Its function can be two-fold either to reduce degradation of appearance due to scratches or to reduce wear on components. Using this technique the base material can be chosen to optimize production or function, the surface properties can then be independently optimized.

Scratch or wear resistant surface

The coating is extremely thin and hard. It can be engineered to fit individual needs. It can be applied to almost any surface. Small parts can be bulk treated.


Video of plasma hydrophobic surface treatment

The wooden bowl above has been treated in plasma to make the surface water repellent.
No additional treatment has been applied to the surface.

The advantages of achieving a hydrophobic surface with plasma are many fold:

  • No solvents are used.

  • All surface even in the finest cracks are treated.

  • Low material costs.

  • The whole surface regardless of the complexity of the form is reliably coated.

  • The breathability of textiles remains intact. They can be treated as a finished product or as roll goods.

  • Small items can be treated as bulk goods in a rotating drum system.

  • Surfaces can be accurately selectively treated.

The uses for such coating are almost endles from protecting textiles to improving the drying of dishwasher parts.

Plasma coating with precious metals

Gold, silver, precious metals - not only the optical properties of these materials are convincing.
The conductive properties and protective effects also speak for the application of a PVD coating. This allows functional as well as decorative coatings to be applied to different materials which may be difficult or impossible to coat by galvanic means.
PVD coating also employs no aggressive chemicals that can leave the manufacture with a disposal problem.
Plasma coating is both cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Corrosion resistant surfaces

Protecting metals that are not corrosion resistant or that are exposed to corrosive environments with a plasma surface coating of glass like material.
Extremely complex forms can be protected as the plasma reaches into even the smallest of fissures and contours.
Bulk goods even powders can be cost effectively coated.
Although effective the coating is thin and therefore not suitable for parts exposed to dynamic loads.

Color without paint

By coating with inorganic clear layers, e.g. titanium dioxide, interference colors are created on the surface due to the refraction of light, depending on the thickness of the layer.
The layer thickness determines the color tone of the surface. The application is limited to metallic reflective surfaces.
This creates unique decorative coatings.