In an atmospheric plasma system the plasma is blown with compressed air from a nozzle onto the substrate surface. The primary active component within the air is the oxygen. This plasma technology is ideal for achieving narrow, topographically defined plasma activation objectives such as plasma activation along a length so that a foam strip can be adhered.
Atmospheric plasma is almost always associated with robotics. Robotics control the plasma distance from the substrate surface and allow the plasma to be articulated to regions where plasma activation is desired. A plasma beam is narrow and treats about a 12mm width. The use of two nozzles will double the plasma treatment width.
A typical application of a plasma beam is the plasma treatment of a car door edge so that a weather strip can be adhered. To achieve this plasma activation objective the door is placed in a fixture and a robot directs the beam around the desired profile. Subsequently, the weather strip is glued into place. Another example is plasma activation of a kitchen garbage can lid so that a vapor barrier strip can be applied. Both of these plasma treatment examples typify ideal applications of this plasma technology for adhesion promotion.
A plasma beam has advantages in its specific application in that there is no need for reduced pressure or a process gas. Furthermore, through the use of a mobile fixture and robot the plasma activation can be carried out in-line. This is in contrast to low pressure plasma which treats all surface areas but does so in a batch process under vacuum. There are different plasma technologies to meet each surface modification objective.