Rotary plasma systems consist of a rotating container within a low pressure plasma system that allows plasma treatment of a large number of small items such as small gaskets, fasteners, powders or medical device components. Many available plasma systems can easily be converted to or purchased as rotary plasma systems because they are designed so that the container and rotator motor can be incorporated at the time of final plasma system assembly. Rotary plasma systems offer an extremely efficient means to alter the surface energy of small objects.
Within the rotary plasma systems there is a metal or glass container that is designed to provide the best part containment and plasma access combination. For example, small part rotary plasma systems generally use a perforated stainless steel drum with a hole size that precludes the parts from falling out but allows the plasma in. Rotary plasma systems for plasma treatment are often jar-like in configuration and roll the powder on the containers inner surfaces. This insures all of the surfaces of the powder are exposed to the plasma entering through the mouth of the jar-like container.
Powder treatment systems can become quite sophisticated as powders are often extremely light and prone to being blown, poured or otherwise spilled from the plasma treatment container. To counter these risks, the treatment containers are fixed at angles advantageous to retaining the powder and controls to prevent rapid pressure changes are incorporated into the plasma systems.
Treated powders may be made hydrophilic or hydrophobic. A plasma coating may also be applied. For example, some powders are used as adhesives. To adhere objects together the powder is placed between the objects and melted to adhere the objects together. Some powder surfaces change with exposure to the environment during storage or have surface contamination. Plasma treatment of these powders cleans their surfaces allowing them to better melt into one another when used in the manufacture of an end product.