May 09 2016

Automotive Parts Suppliers – Beware of air plasmas that deliver barely acceptable results

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) are widely used to produce molded plastic parts for the automotive industry. Obtaining strong, durable adhesion of the electronic components to these plastics can be a big challenge. Surface activation with in-line atmospheric plasmas solves this problem. However, you have to use the right plasma for the job.

Air plasmas that generate hot reactive gases do a poor job of activating thermally sensitive materials, such as PE and PP. Surfx’s cold argon plasmas achieve excellent adhesion with no chance for thermal damage.

Obviously, plasmas that use air are going to be cheaper than those that use bottled argon and oxygen. However, the difference is at most a few pennies ($0.01 USD) on a part that sells for more than ten dollars. Is this savings really worth the risk of a recall down the road? The adhered components must survive tens of thousands of hours of use under constant shaking, temperatures ranging from -10 oC to over 40 oC, and up to 100% humidity. Lab testing cannot duplicate this environment.

Beware of air plasmas that deliver barely acceptable results. Show your customers that you are willing to go the extra mile for a reliable product that never fails during the vehicle’s lifetime.


Dr. Robert F. Hicks
CEO & President
Surfx Technologies LLC


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