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.
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 or arc 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.
Illustration: Corona Treating Head
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. Plasma has the added benefit of cleaning residue and contaminants from surfaces and even etches surfaces for the added benefit of increasing bonding with media. Plasma discharge is virtually potential-free so it can be used to treat conductive materials such as metal and alloys. 3DT’s PlasmaDyne systems offer a variety of types of plasma treating heads that can be quickly mounted onto existing lines with little setup. A unique benefit of our system is that the discharge level is adjustable for numerous applications. 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 large areas. Corona treatment also has the advantage of being able to treat inside parts or in the recesses of 3-dimensional parts. Both methods are very effective in functionalizing surfaces for better adhesion. Check out the video below.
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. Featuring repeatable and process controlled operation, 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 applications with 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 variety and number of treating heads, custom electrode systems, ozone eliminators, and 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 functionalized and highly receptive to chemical bonding. This system also cleans and etches substrates for added bonding properties. PlasmaDyne Pro™ is unique within the industry because only 3DT’s technology offers adjustable treatment/power levels. This benefit increases treatment options regarding flexibility in substrates, parts, and treating modes all within one system.
PlasmaDyne Pro™ enhances the adhesion of ink, paint and adhesive to a wide range of components, from plastic tubing and medical devices to rubber automotive seals and metal parts. 3DT’s PlasmaDyne Pro™ is a compact, versatile system, with an optimized control unit, the highest in treatment levels and modular replacement parts that facilitate non-stop production. PlasmaDyne Pro™ is completely customizable. Let’s discuss your application today!
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.