For many applications, hydrophilic UHMW polyethylene powder is used as innovative option. It can be used as an additive in rubber, resulting in an increased tear propagation strength. Furthermore, hydrophilic PE powder can increase the bonding strength between metal and plastic. This hydrophiling is made possible by low-pressure plasma treatment.
The treatment parameters strongly depend on the particle size of the powder. Plasma treatment can take between 5 minutes and several hours. The risk of thermal damage to the power can be ruled out since the process is constantly carried out at low temperatures for this type of treatment.
Likewise, basic properties of the powder such as melting temperature, degree of crystallisation and molar weight are not affected. Via a wide range of variable process parameters, many different coat properties can be achieved.
UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) is a polyethylene with a very high molecular weight. Polyethylene can be regarded as the plastic with the simplest structure: a chain of carbon atoms, only hydrogen at the sides. When this chain is very long, the material is described as UHMWPE.
To learn more about the use of plasma in manufacturing, please read our eBook titled "Manufacturer’s Surface Activation Guide for Improved Adhesion."