Dow Corning Corp.'s Plasma Solutions Business today introduced its PlasmaStream platform, which can be used to coat virtually any surface to improve such characteristics as adhesion, waterproofing, low-friction slickness, or anti- microbial properties. "The PlasmaStream benefits manufacturers of 3- dimensional, rigid or molded parts where surface or interface functionality can add value to their product.
"By providing new capabilities in terms of the variety and performance of functional coatings, product designers and engineers have new opportunities to customize the surface properties of a substrate, providing added value and competitive differentiation," said Andy Goodwin, Dow Corning's program manager.
For example, plastics used in automotive components, medical devices and microelectronics typically are difficult to bond, glue, coat or laminate. But Dow Corning's PlasmaStream can deposit an ultra-thin plasma polymerized primer film, customized to the chemistries of the specific plastic materials, to deliver adhesion, bond strength and durability, even in harsh environments.
"While designed to be a mainstream manufacturing tool, PlasmaStream's versatility and cost effectiveness make it suitable for R&D and pilot production as well," said Goodwin. "This technology provides customers with options as they seek to further innovate their products."
In addition to new or improved product performance, the platform reduces manufacturing costs by eliminating process steps, such as drying and curing. The technology is environment-friendly; it uses no water and is energy efficient since it operates at or near room temperatures, needs no solvents or surfactants, and has negligible waste disposal and recycling needs.