The primary demands in furniture manufacturing are high quality modules with beautiful feel and appearance. Light-weight furniture and developing functional furniture open up design freedom and require new combinations of materials and intelligent manufacturing methods. Along with continuously increasing demands, the use of cost-efficient production processes is a deciding factor. On top of that, environmentally responsible, no-emission furniture modules are demanded that comply with VOC directives.
Plasmatreat is at home in the furniture industry. We are members of the IGEL, the lightweight construction association of the furniture industry. Working with our customers, we are developing innovative and efficient processes for surface treatment.
Plasma pretreatment for MDF, WPC, PVC, and PP, as well as wood, achieves superior surface activation with the simple physical principle of Openair-Plasma®.
An overview of more advantages:
- Alternative materials can be used, such as recycled materials;
- Expands the spectrum of applications for adhesives;
- New, lean manufacturing procedures, such as plasma sealing of furniture edges; and
- Uniform quality during manufacturing, less scrap.
One of the biggest challenges in creating top quality furniture panels is producing secure edges with zero bondlines – the edge seam should not be visible. Furniture edges bands are joined in edgebanding machines after adhesive has been applied to the panel. Until now, this process eventually resulted in the glue joint darkening. Newer processes rely on laser technology, but integrating that can pose safety-related complications and require elaborate equipment engineering.
Working with Niemann GmbH & Co KG, Jowat AG and edge processing machine manufacturer IMA, Plasmatreat has developed an innovative solution – the Düstec® process – to create zero bondlines. The Düstec® plasma edge works without applying adhesive in the machine. A functional polymer layer replaces the adhesive. A number of manufacturers offer a range of edge bands with different finishes for this plasma process.
This functional layer is activated instantly by plasma during processing in the edgebanding machine, thus ensuring direct bonding of the bands when pressed on the furniture panel. This is how the plasma edge is formed.
- Absolutely tight sealing for furniture panels;
- The resulting joint is no longer visible with the naked eye;
- No glue joint so it is permanently colorfast and age resistant; and
- Highly resistant to peeling, with great thermal stability
This innovative Openair-Plasma® application for the manufacturing of high quality zero bondlines offers (in contrast to laser technology) easy, low-cost integration directly into your production line AND existing systems!
In contrast to laser technology, Openair-Plasma® can be added to existing equipment very easily and without major expense, including to existing edge gluing systems. Plasma technology is suitable for equipping or retrofitting all categories of machinery - from the manual workstation, through simple through-feed machines, to high-speed equipment and two-dimensional machining centers.
- Less expensive edge band material since no expensive laser inhibitors are required;
- Lower investment expenses, in particular when retrofitting existing systems;
- Lower operating costs; and
- Simple maintenance without expensive technical staff.
Furniture profiles are often made of materials such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particle board, plastics such as PP and PVC, and more recently combinations of plastic and wood, known as wood plastic composites (WPC). They can be used as furniture finishing or edge strips or as panels for interior design. Profiles are given a decorative finish in the wrapping process; the wrapping film is continuously coated with adhesive in the wrapping machine and evenly applied to the profile by pressure rollers.
Openair-Plasma® provides effective pretreatment of furniture and window profiles just before pressure is used to apply the film. This makes it possible to use solvent-free adhesive on otherwise non-polar profile surfaces. No additional application of adhesion promoter (primer) is needed.
The advantages of Openair-Plasma® in profile wrapping include in particular reliable, continuous process sequencing and a simple, reproducible process.
High-quality furniture panels are designed with high-gloss, scratch-resistant laminates and often varnished as well. Adhesion during this layering process depends on the materials used and on the pretreatment process.
The precisely controllable surface activation of Openair-Plasma® makes it possible to process with confidence non-polar materials, such as high-gloss PP fronts. This excellent adhesion and absolutely even color application mean that subsequent varnishing yields outstanding quality. Varnishing defects, such as dimpling or picture-framing, are dramatically reduced.