Plasma Technology

Application areas of Plasma Technology

Redaktion
17.12.2019
3 pictures
4 minutes

Plasma technology is a technology of the future and will continue to gain in importance. Especially in growth areas, such as energy technology or vehicle construction, but also in medical technology, it is no longer possible to imagine life without plasma technology and it is considered a key technology in many areas of application. And of course not least in aviation.

What exactly is plasma?

The formation of plasma follows a simple physical principle: Solid material is liquefied by the supply of energy and by further energy supply the state of matter changes to gaseous. If even more energy is added, the gas is ionized and changes to the state of matter: the energy-rich plasma state.

What is plasma technology used for?

Plasma cleaning, plasma activation and plasma coating can be carried out with various plasma systems.

For all those who have not yet dealt with this topic, here is a short introduction:

Plasma cleaning: Used to treat surfaces in such a way that they are optimally prepared for subsequent processes. Plasma cleaning is suitable for plastics, metals and numerous other materials. In this preparatory step, even the smallest dust particles are removed from the starting materials. The most common methods include the application of high-frequency alternating voltages and the excitation of plasma formation by microwaves. Compared to wet chemistry, plasma cleaning is much more environmentally friendly.

Plasma activation: Many materials do not have the necessary surface tension for further processing, such as coating, painting or bonding. This is where plasma technology comes in: Plasma activation allows the desired surface energy to be achieved exactly where it is needed. The result: a significantly improved wettability by increasing the surface tension. In addition, the surface roughness is reduced by plasma hydrophilization.

Thermally sensitive surfaces, i.e. polymer surfaces, are treated by plasma functionalization in such a way that subsequent processes such as bonding, printing or coating can be carried out without problems. Plasma pretreatment improves the corrosion protection of metallic materials.

Plasma coating: This type of coating makes it possible to coat a wide variety of materials with a particularly thin layer, a so-called nanolayer.

All these types of pretreatment by plasma for further processing steps and processes ensure clean and long-lasting results. Overall, the plasma process is considered to be very safe and can be adapted to individual needs.

Application areas of plasma technology

The advantages of plasma technology are used in a wide range of industries. Accordingly, the areas of application are very diverse. Especially the clean and strong connections, but also the safe process flows are highly appreciated with this technology.

Plasma technology in aviation

Treating aeronautical parts with plasma has numerous advantages for the aviation industry. Although plasma is already used in aviation, there is still an enormous upward potential. Whether plasma coatings, plasma surface activation or plasma cleaning, aviation benefits from all processes in order to make them safer on the one hand and to realize them more efficiently and cost-effectively on the other.

Aviation in particular places high demands on materials and compounds. For example, enormous adhesion properties are required. For this purpose, elastomers are used, which are reinforced by plasma treatment.

The aircraft industry uses the advantages of plasma processes to clean new material composites. This is the only way to guarantee long-term stable coatings and bonds. Corrosion protection is also of enormous importance in aircraft construction, but also in many other industries.

Plasma pretreatment also contributes to increased safety in aircraft electronics. For example, in the manufacture of aircraft radio systems by optimizing adhesion for protective coatings of sensitive electronic components.

Plasma technology in vehicle construction

Many car manufacturers are already using the technology to work more efficiently and to be able to deliver better results.

In the automotive industry, plasma helps to improve safety and also contributes greatly to environmental protection and cost savings. Vehicle construction is a very complex area in which plasma is used sustainably. The headlights of vehicles, for example, are pretreated with plasma to improve the subsequent bonding process. Cleaning with plasma is used, for example, for metal engine control housings or radar sensors.

Energy technology

The growth field of energy technology benefits greatly from the advantages of plasma technology. It is frequently used especially in the field of renewable energies. In solar technology, solar modules and collectors are optimally protected from environmental influences by plasma treatment. Today, plasma technology is also indispensable for wind turbines in order to guarantee safe and smooth functionality for a long period of time.

Medical technology in combination with laser technology

This so-called hybrid technology helps medicine to make enormous progress. It makes it possible to coat and treat temperature-sensitive surfaces in order to prepare them optimally for use. The surface properties, but also the volume properties, are modified in such a way that their further processing can be carried out more economically and with higher quality.

Conclusion

Research and development in plasma technology is far from complete. Nevertheless, plasma technology offers considerable advantages in numerous industries. These include cost and time savings on the one hand, and safe and optimized results on the other. The individual processes for plasma pretreatment optimize this technology of the future for many areas of application. The application possibilities are particularly versatile.

Cover picture © Pixabay tookapic

by Redaktion

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