Openair®, PlasmaPlus® and low pressure plasma processes are available to provide an effective surface treatment method for advanced automotive manufacturing applications. While plastics, hybrid materials, aluminum and other lightweight materials possess the mechanical properties desired for automotive applications they cannot be painted, bonded or coated without surface modification.
The most common pre-treatment has been either flaming or the application of adhesion promoters (wet chemicals). Plasma treatment is a better alternative for cost, safety and environmental reasons. Solvent based adhesion promoters contain a large proportion of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so they have been identified as a destructive environmental agent. Flaming, while effective to a degree, is more costly in operations due to consumption of fuel and lacks the efficacy in treatment. In laboratory testing on molded plaques, plasma treatment in oxygen containing plasmas has proven to outperform all commercial pre-treatment processes or combinations of processes while posing not threat to workers or the environment.
Plasma treatment provides improved paint, gasket and coating adhesion with resistance to all automotive performance tests such as humidity aging, thermal shock, chip resistance, sun-tan lotion and fuel soak. Cycle time concerns have been addressed through advances in plasma technology, automation, and contract treatment options.
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