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What is Atmospheric Plasma Treatment?



When Sir William Crookes first discovered plasma in 1879, few could’ve predicted the impact it has had on our lives.

Famously dubbed the fourth state of matter, plasma can better be understood as a cloud of electrons, protons, and neutrons where all electrons have been set free from its respective valence shells.

While that may sound incredibly boring, the discovery of plasma has paved the way for countless devices and inventions – some that are a part of daily life. From nuclear fusion and propulsion in space to the first generation of high definition TVs, it’s safe to say that plasma has invaded nearly all facets of life.

One lesser known application of the fourth state of matter is the atmospheric plasma treatment. Here’s what you need to know about this technique:

What is Atmospheric Plasma Treatment?

Atmospheric pressure plasma treatment is a useful treatment technique that makes the utilization of plasma technology. As its name suggests, the technology revolves around the generation of plasma at the atmospheric pressure (1 atm or 101,325 Pascals).

Unlike low or high pressure plasma production, atmospheric plasma treatment of metals doesn’t require a reaction vessel which can maintain the required pressure (as it’s produced at a pressure of 1 atm). This significantly cuts costs and improves adhesion without adversely affecting the polymer’s bulk properties.

What are its Benefits?

Apart from its cost-effectiveness, here are a few reasons why Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (APP) has surged in popularity in recent years,

1.     Simplified Treatment of Metals:

The best thing about APP is that it significantly simplifies the treatment of metals. Unlike LP (Low Pressure) Plasma which is highly sensitive to oxidation, APP results in the formation of a very thin layer of oxide on metals like aluminum. This prevents the further degradation of the metal substrate and thus increases itsresistance to erosion and corrosion.

2.     Zero Error Rate:

Another reason why we’re such strong advocates of APP is because it boasts an impressive 0 error rate. This means that the final product (in this case the metal substrate) is free from residue, completely uniform and homogeneous, and of the highest quality.

While all this is theoretically possible using LP and HP plasma techniques, it’s also worth mentioning that they’re incredibly difficult to pull off successfully, and tend to leave a lot to be desired.

3.     Versatility and Consistency:

As far as the versatility of a plasma-based treatment is concerned, the APP trumpsLP, HP, and all other plasma treatment techniques. This is because this useful technique can be used to coat bulk material items, electronics and semiconductor components, 3D objects, metals, and even polymers.

Furthermore, the accuracy of Atmospheric Pressure Plasma is much higher than any other plasma treatment technique. This means that the results are consistent no matter the material you want to treat using APP technology!

How to Utilize Atmospheric Plasma Treatment Technology:

Factors like cost-effectiveness and contact-free material processing are enough to convince even the biggest APP skeptic.

However, before you rush to your nearest APP tech supplier, it’s important that you understand the success of the technology depends on a plethora of different factors.

First and foremost, the plasma head needs to be actively cooled. Failure to do so will significantly reduce the life of the APP hardware and ruin its Return on Investment (ROI).

Similarly, you need to ensure that the machine you opt for has a dynamic and continuous power adjustment knob that makes it easier for you to regulate the gas flow.

One company that successfully ticks off all the above-mentioned boxes is Bdtronic. The company provides a robust and powerful atmospheric plasma treatment technology housed in its flagship VP4 hardware – making it the ideal choice for applications ranging from ultra-fine cleaning to bonding and soldering!

For more detailed information about bdtronic’s VP4, get in touch with the company today!