Plasma Flame Treatment

An overview of plasma flame surface activation technique

Plasma flame treatment is one of the most reliable surface activation techniques used in a number of industries for modifying the surface tension of metals and plastic. The technique is based on the production of plasma by combusting a hydrocarbon fuel at a very high temperature. The fuel is chosen in accordance with the physical and chemical properties of the surface being treated. Plasma consists of high energy ionized particles. When a material is placed in a plasma medium, plasma particles transfer their energy to the surface molecule of the material and increase the surface tension of the material thus making it suitable for adhesion and painting. Read more

Fundamentals of surface activation using plasma flame technique

Use of flame for increasing the surface tension of a substrate and making it suitable for adhesion, printing and painting is probably one of the oldest methods of the surface treatment used in polymer, automotive and aircraft industry. Although with the advancement in technology other methods of surface treatment like corona treatment have emerged, most manufacturers still prefer flame treatment over other techniques.

What is Flame Treatment?

Plasma flamePlasma flame is generated by simply combusting a fuel (composed of long hydrocarbon chains) under controlled temperature and pressure conditions. The flame is used to modify the surface tension of the substrate without changing its composition and properties. Plasma flame generation is an adiabatic process in which the temperature is set to 1816°C. Along with improving the surface tension of a material, flame treatment is also used for improving the quality and reliability of polyolefin. Plasma flame oxidizes the surface of the material, forming a 10nm thick oxygen film on the surface of the substrate, thus turning it into a hydrophilic material. This is the reason that plasma flame treated substances have better wettability than corona treated substrates. Another factor which makes plasma flame a more reliable option for surface treatment than corona is the composition of plasma flame.  Plasma flame is composed of a heterogeneous mixture of different functional groups which modify the chemical properties of the material being treated. Read more