FAQs about Surface Treatment with 3DT

Below, you will find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding 3DT’s plasma and corona surface treatment systems, how we can solve your surface treatment challenges, as well as answering practical inquiries about making a purchase.

What surface treatment experience does 3DT have?

As surface treatment experts, we have over 30 years of experience in the design, manufacturing, installation, training, and support of plasma and corona surface treatment systems. We have developed thousands of solutions, large and small, across a wide range of industries. While competitors may struggle with your application, we work to understand your unique needs to provide the ideal custom solution.

What is surface treatment?

Surface treatment involves altering a surface to ensure good adhesion between it and other materials. These treatments are especially useful for plastics because of their inherently low surface energy. Other materials that benefit from surface treatment include glass, foam, rubber, metal, and more. Without surface treatment, labels, inks, adhesives, and other materials wouldn’t bond with many surfaces.

The right treatment or process will allow for a better bond by creating increased wettability and surface energy. While surface treatment methods such as chemical treatment, mechanical treatment, and flame treatment are ideal for some situations, they come with numerous drawbacks, including but not limited to higher costs, safety and environmental hazards, warping. As reliable alternatives to these treatments, corona and plasma surface treatments offer potentially better solutions for many applications.

What is corona surface treatment?

Corona surface treatment entails generating electrical discharge through the exposure of atmospheric air to various voltage potentials. This, in turn, creates an avalanche effect when electrically loaded molecules collide with neutral molecules. Upon collisions, the neutral molecules become electrically loaded, causing a heavily loaded zone or “lightning.” This forms a heavy oxide mixture of nitrogen oxides and ozone.

An isolator is positioned between two electrodes to prevent this avalanche effect, resulting in an ionized air cloud, or corona discharge. This discharge is then used to surface treat plastic and other materials.

What is plasma surface treatment?

In plasma surface treatment, an electric field is combined with reactive gas to create atmospheric plasma. The system uses one or multiple high-voltage electrodes to charge the surrounding blown gas molecules, creating a highly ionized field that is forced onto the surface being treated. The highly ionized air stream produces a thermal property that reacts with the surface, breaking the existing hydrogen bonds by recreating the chemical properties of the surface through the introduction of oxygen. Plasma surface treatment produces an intensified reaction with the substrate, resulting in enhanced bonding properties and wettability.

What kind of materials can be surface treated with 3DT’s technology?

Using our technology, a wide range of materials can be surface treated. These include elastomers, all types of polymers, foam, silicone rubber, glass, composites, paper board, and even metal. Each of these materials shows marked improvement in adhesion properties once surface treated.

With our broad range of systems and technology, we are able to surface treat all part configurations, including large and small 3D parts, cups, bottles, tubing, sheets, panels, inside containers, and so much more. We help manufacturers in all sectors improve bonding and adhesion for better product performance.

How does 3DT determine what system is best for my application?

Several factors will determine which surface treatment method and system is right for each application. This can include the type of material requiring treatment, cycle times, part size and configuration, line speed, and more. After consulting with our customer to discuss the specific project, we discuss the application in-house among our team. Based upon our experience, knowledge, and careful review, we’ll recommend which surface treatment method, system and possible customization will give you the best results. In many cases, we test samples and evaluate the results with you to further determine which treatment is ideal.

We manufacture a complete line of plasma and corona surface treatment solutions for numerous manufacturing applications. Each system is customizable to meet your unique needs and may include automation and material handling capabilities.

To learn more about the steps we take when advising customers on the right surface treatment system for their needs, check out this blog post.

What is the lead time for a new system?

We can ship standard systems within days of ordering, while custom systems require about 12 weeks following the approval of a drawing. We also ship available consumables and parts daily, but specialty parts may take longer to source and ship.

What type of support does 3DT provide?

Our customers have access to experienced teams in sales, engineering, service, and parts. Customers benefit from 3DT’s expertise in surface treatment technology, custom design, product handling, equipment training, installation and maintenance. We also offer various consumables and parts for our surface treatment systems, along with dyne pens and ink used to test the surface tension of substrates.

What if I need service?

If you need service for one of our systems, we are here to help! To move things forward quickly, please provide the product name and its serial number (found on a tag on the side of the machine) . We will use this information to look up your specific system. Please submit this information in an email to service@3DTLLC.com with a description of the issue or your question. We will get back to you as quickly as possible. Or, feel free to call us at 1-262-253-6700 and ask for Service.

Does 3DT offer a warranty?

3DT offers a 12-month warranty for equipment and assures that all products are free from defective workmanship and materials. However, our warranty does not cover wearing parts such as consumables, electrodes, and dielectric material.

How do I order dyne ink and dyne pens?

Industries need to determine the surface energy and adhesion properties of the substrates with which they work. Dyne solution helps to determine this information by measuring a material’s wettable properties in dynes/cm, both before and after surface treatment. 3DT sells both dyne ink and dyne pen. They are very popular due to their convenience, accuracy, and pricing.

3DT offers dyne pens in 38 dynes/cm in a convenient pack of ten pens. They are used like a felt tip pen and reveal if a surface has been adequately pretreated to accept ink, adhesives, or paint at 38 dynes/cm. We also offer a dyne solution test kit, which comes in a hard-shell case with instructions for use and ten 30ml bottles of dyne ink in graduated dyne levels.

Please see our website and our blog article, What Is Dyne Level? for detailed information about these products and their use. To request pricing and to purchase these items call us at 1-262-253-6700 or email us at 3DT@3DTLLC.com.

How do I get started?

To begin your next project with us, contact us by phone, email, or through our online contact form. Our online form asks relevant questions and allows you to submit images to our team. When you’re ready, we’re ready to discuss your adhesion challenges!

To get started on your custom corona and plasma surface treatment solution, contact us or request a quote online today.