By using atmospheric pressure plasma for cleaning, activating and coating, the Italian science and technology center Environment Park S.p.A, Torino, a research partner of Plasmatreat Italy, has succeeded in a patent pending application for a new ski-base impregnation process.
By means of Openair-Plasma® and PlasmaPlus® is has now become possible to apply the sixfold amount of absorbable wax to the bases of high performance skis made from sintered UHMW-PE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) compared with the conventional, but otherwise identical wax impregnation method.
The objectives of the project were two: one was to increase the maximum amount of wax absorbable by the base, the other, to reinforce the physical structure of the polypropylene ski-base in order to delay the collapse due to friction and heat from heavy duty performance.
The pretreatment process is divided into two steps:
- the cleaning and activation of the UHMW-PE ski-base by means of Openair-Plasma®
- PlasmaPlus® deposition of e.g. a 150 nm film by using allylmethoxysilane as precursor
The final structure of the surface of polyethylene reveals, by means of optical microscopy analysis, wider and clean cavities. The sliding test after waxing not only shows a considerable increase of flowing properties, but also an improved abrasion resistance and a considerable increase in the lasting time of the wax on the base surface.