Advanced Plasma Nozzle for Coating Everyday ItemsCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: May 24, 2012 12:04PM
You might not realize it, but there is a good chance something you recently touched has a coating on it. Scratch-proof displays are one example, and anti-bacterial surfaces for refrigerators are another. Perhaps the best known coatings are those on metals, which act as a barrier to rust and other kinds of corrosion. Despite how common coatings are, actually putting them on something is not very easy as there are only two methods; wet chemical processes and vacuum plasma processes. Researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft decided to change that and developed a plasma nozzle that is considerably more versatile and easier to use.
Unlike the vacuum plasma method, this nozzle is able to operate at regular atmospheric pressure. This is a major improvement over requiring a vacuum, but it introduces the problem of potential contaminants in the coating. This is what the researchers had to overcome for this technology to be possible. Fortunately they did though because this method has many advantages going for it, such as the ability to be incorporated into production lines.
The plasma nozzle itself is about the same size as a spray can, which allows it to be easily integrated into production systems, and even be automated by a robot. This should enable it to be much more cheaply used than the current system in place, which should allow more devices to have special coatings.