Plasma Surface Treating Improves Composite Surface Bonding Over Peel-Ply and Hand Prep

Composites offer design engineers remarkable strength and corrosion resistance without the burden of excess weight. It’s no wonder that these properties make them very popular choices in the automotive, aerospace, and marine industries. They are ideal for lightweight energy efficient products without sacrificing safety or performance. Manufacturers of these products are faced with the challenges of developing processes for ensuring composite materials will bond successfully and efficiently during production.

Enercon is conducting pioneering research in the use of plasma and flame (surface treating equipment) technologies to prepare surfaces for improved adhesive bonding. These in-line technologies are used to clean, etch and functionalize surfaces to promote adhesion. Research in this area was assisted by Abaris Training which is recognized as a global leader in composites training.

Abaris is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of composites and provides onsite training and consultation services for professionals and companies involved in the engineering, design, manufacturing and repair of composite based products. When Enercon recently introduced a new plasma Blown-ion™ plasma technology Abaris conducted numerous lab trials with various combinations of surface preparations including peel ply, Acetone, Scotch Brite Pads, dry wipe, and of course atmospheric plasma.

The trials determined that the combination of peel ply and plasma treatment can improve bonding strength with composites over peel ply and manual surface roughening. Additionally, contact angle results with new Blown-ion™ plasma treatment show favorable results even as line speeds increase. And furthermore, the use of plasma in a specific orderly combination with other preparation technologies can maximize adhesion strength results. The results of those test were included in a technical paper presented at CAMX.

For more information on plasma and flame surface treating technologies for composite applications please contact us. Enercon offers free lab trials and can also partner with the industry experts from Abaris on your next project.