| Most plastics are naturally nonpolar and
typically carry additives and demolding agents on their surface so that
inks, coatings, or adhesives don’t easily stick to them. For example,
inks and paints often just run off newly thermoformed or molded parts
that have inert, nonporous, low-energy surfaces. Surface treatment of
3-D parts facilitates high quality printing, allows for clear readable
markings on the surface and improves the adhesion of labels and
|| INPRO Technologies represents a
line of surface treatment equipment manufactured by Enercon Industries www.enerconind.com. Enercon
offers various technologies for the in-line treatment of 3-D parts, all
of which offer an economical alternative to chemical primers, batch
treatment or use of specialized coatings & adhesives.
| Air Plasma
Enercon’s Dyne-A-MiteHP is
a powerful and economical way to improve surface adhesion on 3-D parts.
Air plasma is formed by blowing atmospheric air past high-voltage
powered electrodes and is sometimes referred to as corona treatment.
The electrical discharge positively charges the ion particles
surrounding it. Through direct contact, these particles positively
charge the treated area of the object’s surface. This makes the surface
more receptive to any applied substance, including inks, coatings or
adhesives. The Dyne-A-MiteHP’s unique design generates an aggressive
blown arc discharge that is ideal for higher line speeds and demanding
applications. It is available as either a single or double head unit,
depending on the surface area to be treated. Ideal for PE, PP, PET,
nylon, vinyl, polystyrene, polycarbonate and PVC, the Dyne-A-MiteHP is
easy to use and inexpensive to operate.
Variable chemistry plasma
(VCP) is formed using basic principles found in air-plasma and
flame-plasma treatment. Much like an air-plasma field, a chemistry
plasma field is generated in an electrically charged atmosphere.
Instead of air, this method relies on other gases, typically argon or
helium, that deposit various chemical groups on the substrate surface
to improve its surface energy. Variable chemistry plasma treatment is
essentially a fine etching process that provides different surface
characteristics depending on the gas chemistry employed. Enercon’s
Dyne-A-MiteVCP systems are the most gentle and advanced of the
technologies and are ideal for delicate and hard to treat materials.
Blown-ion air plasma systems
push pressurized air past a single electrode which discharges inside
the treater head. The eletrode creates positively charged ions in the
surrounding air particles. The air pressure forces the air particles to
accelerate out of the tip of the head as a high-velocity stream of
charged ions directed toward the substrate surface. Through direct
contact, these particles positively charge the object’s surface,
increasing its surface energy and making it more receptive to inks and
coatings. Air plasma is a popular surface-treatment technology because
it is effective, easy to use and inexpensive to operate. In addition to
treating a variety of plastics, the Dyne-A-MiteIT is ideal for the
treatment of conductive surfaces, electronic parts, and glass.
A plasma field is formed
when flammable gas and air are combined and combusted to form an
intense blue flame. Brief exposure to the energized particles within
the flame affects the distribution and density of electrons on the
substrate’s surface and polarizes surface molecules through oxidation.
This method also deposits other functional chemical groups that further
promote ink wetting and adhesion. Enercon’s Dyne-A-Flame treater
generates more heat than other methods, but creates greater surface
energies with longer shelf life. Flame treatment is commonly used to
process injection and blow-molded parts because of the thickness, size
and shape of the parts.
Narrow Web Treaters
Enercon Industries offers both standard and custom designs for narrow
web corona treating. The XL series compact treater fits virtually all
narrow web presses. A clamshell design facilitates easy web threading,
and hinged and slip-off electrode cartridges can be easily removed,
making cleaning and maintenance a breeze. No tools, disassembly,
realignment or air gap adjustment is required. The power supply is
built right into the station and ducting for ozone removal has been
positioned to maximize operator work space. This series is available in
10”, 14” and 18” treat widths. The TL series treater combines the power
supply and treating station into one easy-to-install unit. The
treatment capability and reliability is identical to the TLMax, only
the packaging has changed. The TLMax series is available in 10”, 14”,
18” and 22” treat widths.