by Jewlissa Frickey, editor, Plastics Decorating
Bonding problems are pervasive in manufacturing due to many materials refusing to bond to other materials as a result of their chemical structure. 3DT sought to overcome this manufacturing issue with its PlasmaDyne Pro atmospheric plasma surface treatment system. 3DT has developed the new PlasmaDyne Pro for a variety of applications.
Plasma surface treatment raises surface tension and micro-cleans substrates, yielding consistent, high-quality decoration and bonding on parts. 3DT’s PlasmaDyne Pro generates atmospheric plasma to treat a wide variety of materials and improves the adhesion of ink, paint and adhesives prior to decoration, coating or the joining of parts. Plasma also is effective for cleaning surfaces by removing impurities, residue and organic compounds.
“This PlasmaDyne Pro system offers a practical, economical solution for treating bottles,” said Don Weyer, head mechanical engineer at 3DT. “While other methods of surface treatment, such as corona and flame, will arc and damage the bottles, 3DT’s non-conductive plasma technology is capable of treating metal bottles.”
The 3DT PlasmaDyne Pro provides the flexibility of treating both metal (powder coated, laminated, or stainless) and plastic (HDPE, PE, PET) bottles. Additionally, various sizes and styles of bottles can be treated with one system: sports bottles, large-mouth cups and coffee thermoses, from two to five inches in diameter.
The bottle system is equipped with two independently operated treating heads, designed with adjustable height and adjustable power levels to allow for maximum flexibility in the geometry and material makeup of the bottle. Each head treats a band width of approximately 40 mm. Bottles are carried along through the plasma stream on a belt while rollers spin the bottles for 360 degrees of uniform treatment. Both line speed and rotational speed are adjustable, providing further flexibility for numerous applications.
PlasmaDyne Pro produces a highly ionized plasma air stream that restructures the chemical properties of material passed under its treating head(s). The invisibly altered surface is now capable of powerful bonding with another material. Some typical applications include the improved adhesion of ink to plastic parts, adhering plastic tubing to medical devices and applying glue to automotive rubber seals prior to flocking.
Another area where plasma technology is useful is embedded electronics and flexible circuits. Non-conductive PlasmaDyne Pro improves the wettability of the plastic film overlay without destroying the delicate circuitry within. Also, it can be used to treat bare circuit boards to improve solder masks and other protective layers.
Every PlasmaDyne Pro is engineered for easy integration into production lines, with complete operational controls such as plasma power level, status menu, run time, troubleshooting screen and fault log. Additionally, PlasmaDyne Pro features adjustable power levels up to 500W to achieve desired treatment levels – turn up the power to raise surface energy on resistant substrates or lower the power for delicate substrates.
“3DT’s customers have come to appreciate PlasmaDyne for its highly effective surface treatment, flexibility in adapting to varied applications, thoughtful engineering and durability,” said Weyer. “It’s easy to use, cost effective to operate, dependable and safe.”