Success Story with Ford Motor Company
The new patented process has the potential to reduce costs because it requires far less material to create the ultra-thin bond-coating and the fully automated process is much less labor intensive. Plus, anything we can do to lessen the dependency on the use of chemicals including VOCs is a good thing.
In search of a method to eliminate in-plant VOCs from the glass bonding process, researches Ann Straccia and Larry Haack of Ford Motor Company’s Research and Innovation Center (RIC) in Dearborn, MI have developed a revolutionary green alternative to the traditional chemical pre-treatment process in automotive windshield bonding.
Glass bonding in the automotive sector is a complex process. The ceramic frit coated edges of the glass have to be bonded to a powder-coated metal surface. In order to obtain a permanent adhesion of the glue it is essential to clean and activate the ceramic frit which - besides its optical function - serves as a shield layer against UV-radiation and accelerated aging of the adhesive.
Up until now the pre-treatment of the ceramic coating has been done worldwide by means of chemical primers and activators which are highly solvated, and promote a high emission of VOC’s that must be mitigated from the manufacturing environment. Additionally, the primer is generally applied by a piece of felt, manually wiped or handled by a robotic arm - an interference-prone and sensitive method.
With the new Ford process the whole wet-chemical pretreatment will be substituted by Plasmatreat’s Openair-PlasmaPlus® polymerisation system. Plasma rotation jets will first do the microfine cleaning and high activation of the ceramic frit, followed by the application of a PlasmaPlus® nanofine coating. Finally, the adhesive can be applied to finish the process.
Benefits Openair-Plasma® offers the user the following values:
Environmentally conscious, cost effective technology
- Complete elimination of chemical solvents (primer and activators)
- Elimination of waste disposal
- Four working steps reduced to two
- Full process automation
- Material cost reduction
- Operating cost reductions