AEC Illuminazione Srl has been manufacturing functional and decorative street lighting as well as floodlighting, industrial lighting and tunnel lighting for over 60 years. All processes from the initial idea to product development and finally to production take place at our company headquarters in the Italian town of Subbiano. Towns and cities, municipalities and energy providers throughout the world are our customers.
For our lighting systems we only use energy-saving LED technology and high-performance reflector optics made from ultrapure aluminum with a tempered glass lens. This method of construction guarantees an extra-long service life and creates a unique quality of light.
However, the manufacturing process presents certain challenges, since the adhesive bond between the anodized aluminum hinges and the tempered glass lens must be very strong and very tightly sealed.
This can only be achieved if the surface of the aluminum hinge is free from deposits and impurities. In the past, we used isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface, but this method has many drawbacks: Since the alcohol has to be applied manually, it is not possible to remove all traces of impurities from the surface. Furthermore, staff must wear protective clothing because it can cause skin irritations. The alcohol is highly flammable and can easily ignite so further safety precautions are also required.
We were therefore in search of a simpler and more effective surface cleaning process. Hönle, the company which supplies us with UV systems for curing the adhesive in the bonding process, recommended Openair-Plasma® technology from Plasmatreat. Apparently, with this system it would be possible to perform fully automated surface cleaning without using chemicals.
We were curious to find out more: We tested the Openair-Plasma® system under real-life conditions and compared it with another manufacturer's model. We discovered that the Plasmatreat system was significantly more effective. It increased the surface tension of the metal from 30 to 56 mN/m, resulting in a far stronger aluminum-to-tempered glass bond than before.
Another advantage of the Openair-Plasma® process is that it automates surface cleaning, which was previously done manually; this has enabled us to increase the production rate. And since we no longer need isopropyl, we have improved our working conditions and reduced our impact on the environment. We are absolutely delighted with the Openair-Plasma® process and are now testing Plasmatreat’s Plasma-Plus® nanocoating process. Our aim is to optimize the adhesive bond between a 2-component polyurethane foam and the metal housings.
Video of this successful Openair-Plasma® application in the AEC Illuminazione Srl unit:
AEC Illuminazione Srl (Italy)