Apr 12 2015

Taiwan Facilities & Atomflo 500 Atmospheric Pressure Plasma


Visit to Taiwan facilities

Employees from surfx headquarters in Redondo Beach CA spent this week (April 9 to 15) working with employees at Surfx Technologies Tawian Co. Ltd., in Taichung.  At this facility we make our Atomflo 500 and SPM.  The staff of 7 at Surfx Taiwan covers all aspects of manufacture, including supply chain management, mechanical, electrical and controls engineering, software, assembly and administration.  This week, we worked together to implement several improvements to the Atomflo 500.  We have expanded the range of operation of the coolant control module (CCM), so that it will maintain the plasma source at any temperature from 35 to 120 oC.  At the low temperature, the plasma gas does not exceed 72 oC.  This operating temperature is well suited for treating polypropylene and polyethene tubing.  Activation rates are fast, and there is absolutely no potential for thermal damage of these materials.  At the high temperature end, the plasma gas will exit the source at about 150 oC.  This hotter condition will boost surface etching rates, and improve your process speed.

 

Atomflo 500 Atmospheric Pressure Plasma

Surfx Atomflo 500

The Atomflo 500 is truly a powerful tool for high-throughput plasma cleaning and activation of components.  You have so many ways in which you can optimize the process for rapid treatment.  Gas chemistry is selectable between oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon tetrafluoride.  Power ranges may be selected from 50 to 250 W.  Plasma gas temperatures may be controlled between 70 and 150 oC.  With our precision robots, you can select sample scan speeds ranging from 1 mm/s to 300 mm/s.  We are working right now to increase the power range up to 500 W.

The Atomflo 500 Human-Machine Interface (HMI) with touchscreen is the best in the business.  No other competitor has the functionality that we offer.  If you have a surface modification job, be it cleaning, activation, etching, or deposition, come check out our product.  You will be surprised how well it performs.

Mar 24 2015

Surface preparation in the aerospace industry


One of the most common applications that we see here at Surfx is the need for surface preparation in the aerospace industry. Materials such as carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites present a challenge when being incorporated into larger structures. The low surface energy of the base material does not allow for intimate contact with the adhesive being used, and the chemical functionalities present on the surface are not design for covalent linking to the adhesive material. As a result, the aerospace industry typically utilizes wet chemical and abrasive techniques to generate surfaces which are prepared for adhesive bonding. However these methods do not lend themselves to automation, and they also generate environmental waste.

I would like to bring your attention to some work we have done using our Atomflo plasma system to activate the surface of epoxy composite materials to yield robust, environmentally stable bonds. Our Atomflo plasma system works to generate a highly active epoxy surface by handling the 3 of the major barriers to good adhesive bonding. Initially, the plasma can strip away organic materials at the composite surface and allow for clean interaction between the composite and the adhesive being used. Once these materials are gone, the high density of oxygen atoms generated in the plasma will react with the composite surface to leave behind a high surface energy which facilitates intimate contact with the adhesive. Finally, specific chemical functionalities are generated that react directly with the adhesive being used. These plasma treatments are a permanent and covalent substrate modification. Surfx has been working for many years to understand and optimize this process. Please see the attached literature for a more complete description of this process, or contact us for a free demonstration of our Atomflo plasma system.


Surfx Technical Articles and Information

The Effect of Atmospheric Plasma Treatment on the Chemistry, Morphology and Resultant Bonding Behavior of a Pan-Based Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Composite


Surfx Technical Articles and Information

Effect of Processing Parameter Changes on the Adhesion of Plasma treated Carbon Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites


Surfx Technical Articles and Information

Williams Stainless steel and composite bonding


Surfx Technical Articles and Information

Epoxy Composite Tutorial


Jan 26 2015

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Activation of Polymers and Composites for Adhesive Bonding: A Critical Review


Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Activation of Polymers and Composites for Adhesive Bonding: A Critical Review

Read the Full Article Here

The strength of bonded joints is of great concern to the aerospace, automotive, medical device, and electronics industries [1]. Atmospheric pressure plasma acti-vation is rapidly gaining acceptance as a desirable method of surface preparation prior to bonding [1]. This technique provides an alternative to traditional methods of surface preparation by wet chemical cleaning and mechanical abrasion [1, 2]. Although these latter procedures are “tried and true,” they are time consuming manual processes. Moreover, in certain instances, they yield lower bond strengths, and can even result in damage to composites that are fabricated with high modulus fibers [1, 2]. Abrasion methods generate dust which is an environment, health, and safety concern. Consequently, there is a need to explore alternative, environ-mentally friendly approaches that activate the surface without damaging the bulk material. Atmospheric pressure plasmas show promise for fulfi lling this need.

This review article focuses primarily on atmospheric pressure plasmas that are self contained, and are suitable for the treatment of three-dimensional extruded parts, such as are common in many manufactured products. Plasmas used for this purpose are decoupled electrically from the workpiece. They produce an after-glow that contains neutral reactive species, which fl ow out and down onto the surface being activated. This may be contrasted to coronas and dielectric barrier discharges that are used to treat plastic fi lm. In this latter case, the polymer fi lm is passed between the powered and grounded electrodes in roll-to-roll fashion, and the fi lm is activated by contact with both ionized and neutral species. For more detailed information on the performance of these latter devices, the reader is referred to several excellent review articles [3–6].

In this paper, we examine published work using downstream, atmospheric pressure plasma to activate polymer and composite surfaces. First an overview of the physics and chemistry of atmospheric pressure plasmas will be given, along with a comparison of the different types of devices. Then, the efficacy of this technique for surface activation will be discussed in terms of the mechanical proper-ties, the water contact angle (i.e., surface energy), the surface roughness, and the surface composition. Lastly, we will consider the mechanism of polymer surface activation.

Read the Full Article Here

Oct 17 2014

Surfx® Technologies, LLC has been acquired from Precision Mechatronics Pty Ltd.


Surfx® Technologies, LLC has been acquired from Precision Mechatronics Pty Ltd.

Surfx® is privately owned and operated in the United States.

As of this news release, Surfx® is privately owned and operated in the United States.

The purchase agreement, which was completed on October 7, 2014, puts Surfx in an excellent position to grow its business. The company has been in operation since 1999, and is a leading supplier of atmospheric pressure plasmas to the aerospace, medical device and electronics industries. Existing customers for Surfx’s Atomflo™ plasma systems include many Fortune 500 companies, who rely on these tools for their precision manufacturing processes.

Surfx’s high-speed atmospheric pressure plasmas are used for cleaning and activating surfaces prior to adhesion, and for thin-film deposition and etching. The Atomflo™ plasma is a “green technology” that does not employ hazardous chemicals, and has essentially no EH&S concerns. Moreover, it may be used safely on any material. The plasma generates a reactive gas containing neutral atoms that flow over and through microstructured surfaces, chemically scrubbing away the contaminants without any damage to the customer’s product.

Oct 07 2014

Surfx Visits MD&M Minnesota


Surfx Visits MD&M Minnesota

MD&M MinnWe are excited to exhibit at the 2014 MD&M medical device tradeshow in Minneapolis next month: October 29th and October 30th. Visit the Surfx team at booth 1053 for demos of the Atomflo 500 atmospheric plasma device, and helpful insights into your projects.

Tradeshow: October 29-30, 2014

Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

http://mdmminn.mddionline.com/

For over 20 years, MD&M Minneapolis has been the trusted resource for what’s next in medical design and manufacturing. Regardless of your particular design and development objectives, MD&M offers everything you need to drive your project to the finish line.

Contact Nathan Looyenga at Surfx for free passes and more info: (310) 558-0770 x112 or by Email at nlooyenga@surfxtechnologies.com.

Aug 07 2014

The Navy uses Surfx Atmospheric Plasma Innovation


 

The navy uses Surfx Atmospheric Innovation

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) personnel have been repairing and modifying aircraft for 95 years, making FRCSW the birthplace of Naval Aviation Maintenance. As aircraft have changed so has the manner in which they are repaired and FRCSW has been at the forefront of this innovation.

The FRCSW and Surfx entered into a Cooperative Research and Developmen Agreement (CRADA) to build a partnership that offers a clean non damaging way to make a better bond when doing aircraft repairs.  Surfx technology allows for the FRCSW to remove hazardous chemicals, reduce repair time, and save money.

Read The Full Article Here: FRCSW Plasma News

 

 

Jun 02 2014

Surfx visits SAMPE Seattle


SAMPE Seattle 2014

If you are at SAMPE Seattle show come join us at booth 1A. We will have one of our plasma systems at the show to demonstrate its many capabilities. If you have a particular material you would like treated please bring it to the booth.


Surfx SAMPE Tradeshow Booth 1A

Surfx SAMPE Tradeshow Booth 1A

Conference: June 2-5, 2014 | Exhibits: June 3-4, 2014

Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA 98101-2350

http://www.sampetechseattle.org/

SAMPE Seattle is innovation in action – a dynamic exhibition of equipment, machinery, and products that showcase the newest advancements and product developments from more than 200 companies.

You will receive the best and most useful education in the materials and processes industry. Conference topics focus on rapidly advancing areas you need to keep up with – smart materials, resin infusion, design, thermoplastics, sustainable materials, advanced materials, and more.

Find out what you’ll be using to develop the next generation of products for your company in the exhibit hall and at the conference.

200 exhibiting companies.
Full of practical ideas that are immediately applicable.
Hundreds of presentations by industry insiders, leaders and educators.
Free Exhibit Hall Passes.
Discounted conference rates for early registration.

Apr 11 2014

Composites Manufacturing 2014


Covington, KY, April 2014 – Dr. Thomas Williams was at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center this week for Composites Manufacturing 2014 presented by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.  Dr. Williams gave a presentation titled “Atmospheric Pressure Plasma as a Method for Improving Adhesive Bonding” during the Bonding Prep & Inspection Processes session.  His presentation topic was centered on the use of Surfx’s plasma products as a fast, safe and effective method for automating the surface preparation of structures composed of materials such as carbon-fiber-reinforced composite, stainless steel, aluminum, polyetheretherketone, BMI and others.  A detailed discussion of the bond strength improvements achieved with our plasma activation process was based on peer reviewed literature.  Please contact us for a copy of the presentation slides.

Apr 08 2014

Surfx In The News: Plasma used for consistent surface preparation while increasing chemical bond.


Certification of bonded composite primary structures.

OEMs develop technology to quantify uncertainty in pursuit of the no-bolt bondline.

Composites have flown on commercial aircraft primary structures — those critical to flight — for more than 30 years, but only recently have they conquered the fuselage, wingbox and wings, most notably on the Boeing Co.’s (Chicago, Ill.) 787 Dreamliner and the A350 XWB from Airbus (Toulouse, France). These carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) structures, however, still require assembly with thousands of mechanical fasteners. Why? Because it is the easiest and least expensive way to meet current certification requirements, which mandate proof that each and every adhesively bonded joint will not separate and cause structural failure should it reach its critical design load. But many in the industry argue that the full cost and weight savings of composites cannot be realized until bonded joints can be certified without fasteners.

The development of technologies to address this need has steadily progressed, from programs in the late 1990s such as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Composites Affordability Initiative (CAI) to more recent initiatives, including the European Union (EU)-funded Boltless assembling Of Primary Aerospace Composite Structures (BOPACS) project. Here, HPC looks at current efforts to build a certification regime for bonded primary structures on aircraft. Boeing, Airbus and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (Palmdale, Calif.) have mounted independent efforts toward that end. Their research offers the hope of building reliability into the bonding process, and of gauging final bond strength via a coordinated certification system that includes design, process control and quality assurance (QA).

Read The Full Article

Discussed Topics:

 

Feb 28 2014

Surfx® Presenting and the 2014 Nanotechnology Materials and Devices Workshop


Cincinnati, OH, February 2014 – Surfx Technologies was a sponsor at the Nanotechnology Materials and Devices workshop held at the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Thomas Williams, was present at our booth with samples of our full range of atmospheric plasma applicators.  The visitors to our booth were mostly interested using our products to activate and process carbon nanotubes as an alternative to strong acid processing.

Dr. Williams was also invited to give a seminar to the graduate students at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.  His talk was based on interesting work using our plasma as to activate carbon nanotubes prior chemical functionalization.  The data presented was based on research being spearheaded by UCLA.  If you would like to hear more about applications for our atmospheric plasma products, please contact us.

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