People have been relying on flame treatment as the only way to print indications and calibrations on medical devices like medicine bottles, IV bags and syringe barrels. The traditional method of flame treatment includes exposing plastic devices to the flame in order to oxidize the surface of the device enough to stick labeling or print calibrations. Although flame treatment of medical devices was used on commercial scale, the issues inherent to this method of printing calibrations are countless.
This is the reason that corona treatment of medical devices has emerged as an alternative of flame treatment.
How is Corona Treatment better than Flame Treatment?
There is a high probability of surface deformation associated with flame treatment. Heat tolerance varies with the nature of the material to be treated. Although technicians know precise temperature settings for treating different kinds of materials, small variations in the flame intensity can deform the shape of the device. On the other hand, corona treatment of medical devices involves oxidization of material through high voltage therefore it has completely eliminated the risk of device deformation.
Another advantage of corona treatment is reduced health risks. Excessive exposure to high flame can cause serious skin infections and lungs diseases. Moreover, flame treatment is also dangerous to handle. Corona treatment is based on the generation of corona discharge through high voltage it allows technicians to easily handle complex geometries and delicate objects.
How a Corona Treatment System Works?
Although corona is natural plasma which surrounds the Sun, corona treatment of medical devices requires artificial generation of plasma. As plasma is produced through partial ionization of gaseous atoms therefore corona generation also requires a gaseous medium and high voltage. Unlike plasma, corona uses air as a medium.
A corona generating system consists of a high power supply, a step-up transformer and a treatment station on which the material to be treated is placed. The standard configuration of the treatment station includes two symmetrical electrodes, a ground electrode and an insulating material. Configuration of the station might vary with the symmetry and nature of material to be treated.
The power supply generates high voltage to create a strong electric filed. The frequency in the electric field ionizes free molecules present in the air. Properties of the corona discharge vary with the frequency of power supply therefore it is very important to monitor and control the power supply. It is recommended to rely on the combination of low voltage and high frequency for the production of corona. Although corona can be produced at high voltages too, it is potentially harmful for the dielectric used in the treatment station.
As soon as the corona is formed, the material to be treated is placed in the electric filed. Ionized air molecule reacts with the material giving off a blue colored glow. Corona discharge increases the surface tension of the material and oxidizes it for printing calibrations.
The Surface Treatment company Tantec have advanced treatment systems and skilled technicians for the corona treatment of medical devices.