For more than 30 years, 3DT has been a leader in providing high quality surface treatment solutions, including corona treatment equipment. Our innovative surface treating equipment can handle even the most challenging adhesion problems for a wide range of industries. With custom capabilities and a range of services, we can create systems based on your unique needs and application requirements.
Because polymers and many other substrates are non-porous, they don’t absorb ink, paint, and adhesive. Instead, media sits on the surface without bonding to it. By increasing the surface tension through microscopic chemical change of plastic materials, the ink or glue now has something to “hold on to”.
To treat the material, it’s placed under a cloud of corona discharge, which is created by exposing atmospheric air to different voltage potentials. The electrons hold energy up to three times higher than what’s needed to break molecular bonds on the surface, and the free radicals quickly go to work oxidizing the material in the cloud. The result is increased surface tension, which allows for wetting and adhesion.
The Benefits of Corona Treatment and How 3DT Can Help
Besides improved adhesion for coatings, inks, and adhesives, corona treatment offers a wide range of benefits, including:
Reduced waste. Materials have to be discarded if the adhesion process fails. Treating the surface ensures your paint, coating, or glue will stick the first time, so you won’t have any failed attempts that result in wasted time and materials.
Eliminates migrating additives. Many materials contain additives to enhance a particular quality of that material. Over time, those additives may migrate to the surface, and if they’re left to sit on the surface, the ink will bond to the additives instead of the material itself. Corona treatment removes any additives that have risen to the surface.
Reduce decaying surfaces. Bump treatment can be used to restore the surface tension in old, pretreated materials. This means you don’t have to worry about the surface decay of a material that’s been held in inventory for a long time. Simply apply the bump treatment, and you can return the surface to its pretreated adhesion potential.
Cleans your materials. Dust and debris can hinder adhesion. As plasma treatment prepares the surface for bonding, it also removes the dirt that can get in the way of a successful bond.
At 3DT, we improve adhesion and bonding on a wide variety of substrates, including polymers, rubber, composites, glass, foam, and more. Surface treatment systems for 3D objects are our forte, but we also manufacture systems for panels, sheets and film. Our comprehensive solutions go from design to manufacturing, installation, and service. Every sale is backed by our extensive experience and a dedicated sales and service team. Your success is our success, so we go above and beyond to create the best possible solution for your needs.
Corona Treatment Solutions from 3DT
Corona treatment is a highly beneficial process that is crucial for a wide range of substrates. Contact 3DT to learn more about our corona treatment equipment, or view our range of products to find the best solution for you. No matter where in the world you do business, you can find a distributor to connect you with the services you need.
For more than 30 years, 3DT LLC has been a leading provider of specialized corona and plasma surface treatments for customers around the world. Our state-of-the-art systems can be used as stand-alone stations, incorporated into new and existing production processes, or integrated into fully or semi-automated production lines. With 3DT’s 2- and 3- dimensional treating systems and a wide variety of custom configurations, we have a solution for virtually any application. In addition to manufacturing our cutting-edge equipment, we offer services such as design, manufacturing, product handling, installation, training, and maintenance service.
One of the more common questions we field about electrical surface treatment is, “What is the difference between corona and plasma treatment?” and then, “What best fits my application?” Both corona and plasma treatment increase the surface energy of numerous materials improving the adhesion of inks, adhesives, coatings, and other agents. However, they both have unique properties that require consideration in terms of applications.
In this post, we discuss the advantages and uses of corona treatment vs. plasma treatment, to aide in your understanding. However, our sales team will actively guide you in selecting the best system for your material, process and application.
This blog discusses the differences between corona treatment and plasma treatment, including how they work and the various systems that 3DT offers.
What is Corona & Plasma Treatment?
How Does it Work?
Corona and plasma treatment are both forms of electrical surface treatment. They use the power of electrical energy to change the chemical properties of material placed within an energy stream. This stream of electrically loaded molecules causes an intensified reaction with the material resulting in better wettability and stronger bonding traits. Electrical surface treatment is highly suitable for three-dimensional polymer parts, thin film, rubber profiles, glass labware, metal parts, coated paperboard and thicker materials such as foam and solid sheets of material.
When this phenomenon is contained inside an electrically grounded chamber, an air stream can be introduced to this chamber to force the plasma outwards in a controlled fashion and onto materials in a process called plasma treatment or atmospheric plasma treatment. However, when an insulator is placed between the two electrodes, the avalanche effect is avoided and the result is a cloud of ionized air. This ionized air – Corona Discharge – can now be used for the surface treatment of a wide number of materials that show poor or no adhesion properties to media such as printing inks, adhesives, etc.
What’s the Difference Between Corona & Plasma Treatment?
Plasma discharge has a relatively narrow treating width but is capable of imparting enormous surface energies onto substrates. The plasma treating heads can also be quickly mounted onto existing lines with little setup. The plasma discharge is virtually potential-free so it can be used to treat conductive materials. Plasma also produces no ozone gas which is a natural byproduct of the corona process. Alternatively, corona discharge typically imparts less surface energy but can treat very large areas. Corona treatment also has the advantage of being able to treat inside parts or in the recesses of 3-dimensional parts.
Our Most Popular Treatment Systems
3DT designs and manufactures an extensive range of cutting-edge surface treatment products, including:
3DT’s MultiDyne™ corona treatment system creates optimal surface tension, or wettability, on a broad range of parts and materials. A highly repeatable and controlled process, MultiDyne™ is typically used to prepare blow molded, injection molded, and extruded parts and products. MultiDyne™ creates highly effective, uniform adhesion on surfaces for printing, coating, gluing, and lamination.
MultiDyne™’s state-of-the-art corona discharge technology works by creating a short circuit between two high voltage electrodes. A constant flow of air between the electrodes facilitates even distribution of the corona field onto the surface of the treated material, creating a highly receptive adhesive surface. It is perfect for treating areas that are commonly a challenge for other surface treatments, including complex geometries, hard-to-reach areas, and metal-adjacent surfaces.
PolyDyne™ is one of 3DT’s most powerful corona treatment systems. This extremely dependable and reliable system is particularly useful in high-speed operations, such as printing, extrusion, assembly, and coating production lines. PolyDyne™ is exceptionally versatile and can be used to treat everything from the interior surface of needle hubs to automotive components. Using the latest technology, PolyDyne™ directs corona treatment with an exceptional degree of precision onto virtually any surface.
PolyDyne™ is specifically designed with flexibility in mind. All of our systems can be customized to meet the particular needs of your application, including custom electrode systems, ozone eliminators, and a variety of material handling systems. For more resistant materials, we are pleased to offer our PolyDyne Pro™ system.
PlasmaDyne Pro™ uses a stream of highly ionized plasma to modify the chemical properties of the surface material within the stream. The surface becomes highly receptive to chemical bonding. PlasmaDyne Pro™ enhances the adhesion of ink and adhesive to a wide range of components, from plastic tubing and medical devices to rubber automotive seals. 3DT’s PlasmaDyne Pro™ is a compact and energy efficient system, with an optimized control unit, adjustable treatment levels, and modular replacement parts that allow you to tailor the system to your particular needs.
Premium Surface Treatment Systems by 3DT
At 3DT, we are committed to developing superior surface treatment systems for every industry. We have spent decades at the forefront of corona and plasma technology and are dedicated to solving even the most complex adhesion challenges. To learn more about our surface treatment systems and related services, visit our product page, or contact our experts today.
Corona treating is an efficient and cost-effective way of raising the wettability, bonding-properties, and surface tension of polypropylene products. Corona treatment can effectively improve bonding on a wide range of materials that show poor or no adhesion to media such as printing inks, paints, coating, and adhesives. Because of corona treatment’s flexible nature, it can even successfully treat tough-to-bond polymeric and elastomeric materials.
MultiDyne is a versatile, cost-efficient low-frequency corona system.
Unfortunately, corona treating is not without minor drawbacks. When treating polypropylene with low-frequency corona, small marks may be visible on the surface of the product after treating, which are referred to as “fish-marks.” These marks tend to appear more visible on glossy material than on matte materials. The reason they appear is due to the frequency at which the material is treated. Low-frequency corona treaters operate at a line frequency of 50 or 60 Hertz. This means it’s a common issue that ALL low-frequency corona treaters are subject to leave possible “fish-marks” on polypropylene.
Fortunately, this problem can be mitigated in a number of ways, such as increasing the distance between treating heads and material being treated. Or increasing the line speed can be helpful in finding the “sweet spot,” where the necessary treatment is obtained with minimal spots appearing on the surface. Furthermore, the marks can be minimized when covered by printing, labeling, or applying adhesives.
PolyDyne Pro is a high-frequency generator that can power a multitude of systems.
Finally, this problem can be avoided all together by using high-frequency corona treatment, if the process and geometry of the product permit. High-frequency systems require more product integration and handling and are typically more expensive due to their sophisticated design and components. With high-frequency corona treating, all adverse effects that come with low-frequency treating on polypropylene, such as fish marks, are avoided.
Another option for improving surface energy and adhesion is plasma treatment. Plasma treatment is highly suitable for three-dimensional plastic parts and rubber parts and can be a viable, albeit pricier solution. Plasma treatment is also widely used on metal, ceramic and glass surfaces.
PlasmaDyne Pro’s powerful plasma discharge.
3DT offers all systems mentioned above; from the low-frequency, cost-efficient yet effective MultiDyne to high-frequency systems, including PolyDyne Pro, FlexiDyne Pro and UltraDyne. As well as the flexible, powerful PlasmaDyne Pro.
All systems are offered as standard systems for numerous applications or customized for a specific application. Contact our expert sales team regarding your adhesion challenges!
Read About the Advances and Advantages of 3DT’s New Plasma System
3DT’s hardworking, classic plasma treatment system for 3-D parts, PlasmaDyne, has been thoroughly updated as a part of the company’s effort toward continual technological improvement and meeting the needs of the industry. Updates include the newest in electrical engineering, components and design. Renamed PlasmaDyne Pro, the upgraded system features an optimized, sophisticated control panel, adjustable plasma treatment levels, energy efficiency, modular replacement parts, it’s compact and economical.
New Features and Advantages
As with 3DT’s previous plasma system, PlasmaDyne is known for providing highly effective surface treatment, flexibility in adapting to varied applications, thoughtful engineering and durability. The new PlasmaDyne Pro has several important upgrades but of most importance PlasmaDyne Pro is the only system in the market to offer adjustable treatment and power levels.
The new PlasmaDyne Pro system includes these new features and benefits:
Adjustable power level up to 600W to achieve desired treatment levels; turn up the power to raise surface energy on resistant substrates or lower the power for delicate substrates. Treatment levels can be programmed for each individual treating head.
Color touch display for monitoring all system parameters, including troubleshooting and fault log.
Modular power factor supply for treating heads allows for quick, easy changes to keep production running.
Active power correction for highest efficiency and lowest operating cost.
Compact and economical: PlasmaDyne Pro systems with 3 or more treating heads are now smaller than systems previously produced and more economical as a result.
Overcoming Adhesion Challenges
PlasmaDyne Pro utilizes atmospheric plasma technology to effectively and uniformly treat surfaces for the improved adhesion of glue, paint, ink, flocking, coatings, and laminates. Plasma technology raises surface energy by modifying the molecular structure of many difficult-to-bond materials without causing harm to the substrate. PlasmaDyne Pro’s plasma process improves the surface tension on polymers, rubber, metal, glass, ceramic, paperboard and composites. It is adaptable to countless applications.
The 3DT PlasmaDyne Pro completes two functions in a single step: it cleans organic contaminants from the surface and alters the molecular structure of the substrate, thereby raising the surface energy and producing a stronger bond between the substrate and media.
As mentioned, PlasmaDyne Pro micro cleans surfaces by removing impurities, contaminants, residue, organic compounds and some hydrocarbons. This process provides another important aspect in improving adhesion and enhancing surfaces for secondary processes.
PlasmaDyne Pro produces plasma from a high voltage electric current within a treating head. The plasma is then applied to a substrate by means of pressurized air. Power/treatment levels can be adjusted for each application. The treating heads produce a discharge area of 10 – 40mm in width depending on the type of treating head chosen for the application.
PlasmaDyne Pro can be customized with one or more stationary and rotating heads. At this point, 3DT has supplied system configurations with up to 12 treating heads. Importantly, each treating head is independently programmed for mode of operation and power level. This feature allows greater flexibility in applications with limited downtime between setups.
PlasmaDyne Pro can operate as a stand-alone unit or incorporated into a production line, such as an indexing table, conveyor system or the heads can be secured onto a robotic arm.
What Customers Say
The first customers to receive the new PlasmaDyne Pro are very excited and happy about the system’s performance. In fact, one customer said purchasing a PlasmaDyne Pro was one of the best investments he’s made. This company is sending 3DT information about an application for another PlasmaDyne Pro.
Customers have come to appreciate 3DT’s classic PlasmaDyne for its dependability and durability. In fact, there are numerous systems in the field with more than 25,000 hours of operation and they are still running strong. PlasmaDyne is a proven system designed for powerful adhesion. Considering the improvements made to this system, 3DT anticipates customers to experience the same long-lasting, consistent performance with the new PlasmaDyne Pro.
All 3DT’s systems, including PlasmaDyne Pro, are produced in Germantown, Wisconsin, USA, offering the advantages of stateside sales, service and replacement parts.
3DT’s PlasmaDyne Pro system includes:
Single cabinet generator and transformer
Electrical enclosures meet IP43 standards
Adjustable power level up to 600W
Customizable with 1 – 12 stationary and/or rotating treating heads
Treatment area from 10 – 40mm
2, 3 or 4 meter treating head cable
Internal air supply- eliminating the need for costly compressed air and extending nozzle life
Downloadable USB operation log to review performance
Local or remote PLC control modes
Color touch display monitors all system parameters
Intelligent fault monitoring system
Safe: chemical and ozone-free
Built to US NFPA machine safety standards
For more information and to discuss your application please contact us at sales@3DTLLC.com or call 262-253-6700. Learn more about 3DT and our full line of surface treatment systems at www.3DTLLC.com.
As you know, moisture is an enemy of electronic components. Consequently, with summer’s high heat and humidity, even the best corona treatment equipment will benefit from some simple maintenance.
Ozone is a by-product of corona treatment and is easily handled with 3DT’s robust ozone exhaust and filtration equipment. However, in extremely hot and humid conditions ozone can combine with moisture-laden air leaving a residue on the electrodes. This residue can then collect environmental debris. Electrodes in this condition can experience voltage arcing which can harm the electrodes over time.
You can optimize your corona treatment system in humid conditions by following these practices:
Starting the corona generator out at a low power level will create heat that will dry the electrodes without excessive voltage levels. After a minute or two the treating station should be drier and the power level can be set back to its normal settings.
In excessively damp environments, the electrodes and treating station should be wiped down manually.
If you are using 3DT’s Ozone Filtration System the catalyst and filters should be changed regularly as prescribed by the operation manual.
Ensuring that the ozone exhaust system is functioning optimally and is vented properly
Cleaning electrode assemblies regularly
If air conditioning is available, use it in hot and humid weather to keep the air moisture-free
Following these steps will help to keep your production lines and corona systems humming season after season.
The PolyDyne PRO is the latest product from 3DT. This new, highly advanced corona generator takes queues from the original PolyDyne as well as our successful plasma generators to make the PolyDyne PRO our most powerful, sophisticated and robust system to date.
The PolyDyne PRO can either be voltage controlled as the original PolyDyne 1 and 3, or power controlled which has become a standard in film and web industries. In voltage-controlled mode the PolyDyne PRO can output up to 36kV single-ended or up to 72kV in a push-pull configuration. Multiple feedback devices are used to monitor system parameters to ensure reliable, powerful corona treatment. The system is built around a digital signal processor (DSP) which monitors output voltages, currents power levels, phase angle and more. In virtually real-time, it can adjust and compensate to deliver constant power and voltage levels in any condition. Single phase generators, which run on 100-240VAC, have universal inputs and can deliver up to 2kW. No changing of taps or jumpers is necessary at any voltage level between 100VAC to 240VAC, 50/60Hz. The PolyDyne PRO also has a near unity power factor (0.98 typical) which means it emits very little noise onto the electrical line and that external fuse breaker sizes can be reduced as reactive currents are almost non-existent.
Optional leak detection is available on all models of the PolyDyne PRO and can be monitored via the generator’s isolated interface. All generators feature a rich I/O interface which includes all inputs and outputs to be set as sourcing or sinking to interface to virtually any type of sensor, relay or PLC. Outputs include: power alarm, corona on, system fault, generator status and more. Inputs include: generator status (ready/standby mode) and a corona enable signal. The corona can also be activated automatically by sensing of a part or by setting a minimum line speed in the generators settings. Onboard adjustable timers also allow for more integrated flexibility. Power or voltage levels can be controlled remotely by either a 4-20mA or 2-10V analog signal (0-20mA/0-10V and others available). Power or voltage levels can also be monitored through the generator’s 4-20mA/2-10V analog output port (0-20mA/0-10V and others available). The PolyDyne PRO also features an integrated safety circuit utilizing a forcibly guided relay (EN50205 Type A TUV approved) to use with external E-STOP switches and/or safety interlocks for safe, worry-free operation.
Monitoring and controlling all aspects of the PolyDyne PRO is quick and easy via a high-resolution color touch display. All parameters of the system can be adjusted and monitored. A fault log and a data log can be used to verify the generator has performed properly throughout previous shifts. Onboard help screens are available for trouble-shooting and configuring system parameters. The PolyDyne PRO is the ideal corona generator for treatment of small delicate parts to large, hard to treat substrates. A versatile interface means it can be easily implemented into any system or process, or function as a stand-alone piece of equipment for unparalleled corona treatment.