Surface activation of polymers

© Fraunhofer IAP
Cohesive failure of an adhesive joint between an activated polymer sheet and aluminium.

In an activation process the surface of a polymer material is oxidized in order to form polar functional groups which increase the surface energy and which can interact with other substance, be it water, paint or an adhesive. Electrical discharges and flames are often used to produce highly reactive species such as radicals, ions, or energetic radiation which initiate chemical reactions in the surface of polymer material. These processes are very efficient. Treatment times of milliseconds suffice.

In all the mentioned technologies plasmas plays an important role.

We can apply low-pressure plasma, dielectric barrier discharges, flames, and VUV excimer radiation to activate polymer surfaces for the development of surface treatment technologies.