The printing, coating and bonding of plastics requires the surface to be pre-treated. Flame treatment is one way to achieve this so-called activation. It is currently being used in many industrial sectors and has considerable potential for development. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam and the Italian company esse CI are uniting their expertise in surface chemistry and machine engineering in order to clearly expand the opportunities provided by flame treatment and to extend the range of surface properties. Interested companies can take part in the development of this technology and help advance its industrialization.
When plastic bumpers were first introduced they were black because paint did not adhere very well to the surface. Today these plastic components can easily be painted in the colour of the car body. This is all down to a change in surface properties. The surface is pre-treated with the help of an electric charge or flame. During flame treatment, reactive components form during the burning process.
This initiates oxidation on the material being treated; however, this oxidation is unspecific and can only be altered in quantity, not in typology. This means there is considerable room for the development of optimized high-performance applications. Both partners are looking to explore new avenues in flame treatment.
Flame treatment meets surface chemistry
”Our aim is to expand the range of functionalization and produce bespoke surfaces for special applications. For example, we produce specific functional groups on the surface as reaction partners for reactive adhesives. This enables us to create a high-performance composite with a much better adhesion than with ordinary activation”, explains Dr. Andreas Holländer, a specialist for surface technologies at the Fraunhofer IAP.
The partners combine the Fraunhofer IAP’s expertise in surface chemistry with esse CI’s know-how in flame treatment. They hope to utilise the energy of the flame for chemical processes that go beyond simple oxidation. This requires chemicals to be added to the flame, for example in the form of gases, vapours or aerosols. The studies are conducted in a plastic film processing plant at the Fraunhofer IAP. “Here we test which effects are produced by the chemicals. Using this knowledge, esse Ci’s mechanical engineers enhance the next generation of equipment”, says Holländer.
Augusto Angeli, chairman of esse Ci, is pleased: “By installing our flame treatment system in the demonstration plant in Potsdam we are able to demonstrate the technology’s capabilities to potential customers. “ Stefano Mancinelli, process and sales manager, adds: “We are advancing the development of the technology with the aim of developing new market segments.“
The medium-sized company from Narni, Italy produces equipment for surface treatment on plastic films, cards, aluminium foil and 3D objects. Their flame treatment technology is already being used in a range of industrial applications.
Rapid industrialization with new partners
In order to facilitate the industrialization of this new generation of flame treatment systems, interested companies are invited to take part this year in the project. They can influence the detailed planning, for example, of materials and process parameters, and receive first-hand information and research results. The Fraunhofer IAP and esse CI also provide workshops on the technology, equipment and project results.
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP
The Fraunhofer IAP in Potsdam-Golm, Germany, specializes in research and development of polymer applications. It supports companies and partners in custom development and optimization of innovative and sustainable materials, processing aids and procedures. In addition to the environmentally friendly, economical production and processing of polymers in the laboratory and pilot plant scale, the institute also offers the characterization of polymers. Synthetic petroleum-based polymers as well as biopolymers and biobased polymers from renewable raw materials are in the focus of the institute’s work. The applications are diverse, ranging from biotechnology, medicine, pharmacy and cosmetics to electronics and optics as well as applications in the packaging, environmental and wastewater engineering or the aerospace, automotive, paper, construction and coatings industries. | Director: Prof. Dr. Alexander Böker
Esse CI is an Italian company from Narni that has been specializing in the surface activation of polyolefins and other substrates since 1969. It is the world leader in flame treatment systems for BOPP extrusion lines (up to 10.5 m wide). Esse CI is also active in the pre-treatment (aseptic packaging, extrusion coatings, lamination, printing, adhesive coating, conversion) of materials like paper, cardboard, aluminium, steel, PET and Tedlar®.
Dr. Sandra Mehlhase | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
New materials: Growing polymer pelts
19.11.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Why geckos can stick to walls
19.11.2018 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.
Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
21.11.2018 | Life Sciences
21.11.2018 | Medical Engineering
21.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy