Japan: Review of PLASTIC OSAKA – Openair® plasma ensures strong adhesion when printing on plastic

Plasmatreat Japan enjoyed a very successfully presence at PLASTIC OSAKA – its first time at this exhibition – which ran from 5 to 7 October at the International Exhibition Center INTEX in the global metropolis Osaka in the heart of western Japan’s Kansai region.   

This region is regarded as the most important commercial center outside Tokyo and true to the old Japanese saying “Look at Kansai and you’ll see what the rest of Japan will soon be buying!”, foreign firms like to test new products on the market here before launching them on the wider Japanese market. “At PLASTIC OSAKA we achieved our objective of raising the profile of Openair® plasma and PlasmaPlus® plasma technologies in western Japan and convincing potential customers of the effectiveness of these pretreatment methods for plastics applications”, said Jun Kobayashi, President and CEO of Nihon Plasmatreat Inc. in Japan. 

Printing on plastics

Together with his stand team – colleagues from Plasmatreat Japan’s head office in Tokyo and the Osaka branch – Kobayashi made the plasma pretreatment of plastics before printing the focal point of their trade fair presence. Visitors discovered that Openair® plasma can be used with all conventional printing techniques such as pad, screen and offset printing as well as inkjet and UV digital printing.  The plasma process facilitates print adhesion without the use of primers and ensures reliable, long-time stable adhesion when printing difficult plastic surfaces. It not only improves the quality of the overall printed image, including the color brilliance; it also enhances print durability and makes it more resistant to handling and weathering.

Plasma LIVE

Visitors to the stand were particularly interested in the Live Show, where they could see for themselves the high adhesive strength of printing inks after pretreatment with Openair® plasma by performing their own pull-off test. In this demonstration the front of a polypropylene box was pretreated with Openair® plasma, whilst the back was left untreated. Then the same text was printed on both sides of the box using a DOMINO A320i inkjet printer. To complete the test, a strip of transparent adhesive tape was applied first to the untreated printed image, then to the side that had been pretreated with plasma. The results of the pull-off test were clear: Whilst the ink on the plasma-treated side had bonded perfectly to the plastic, the lettering on the untreated polypropylene surface had peeled off and was now stuck to the adhesive tape.

Clear result: Whilst the ink on the plasma-treated side has bonded perfectly to the plastic, the lettering on the untreated polypropylene surface has peeled off and is now stuck to the adhesive tape (photo: Plasmatreat).

Hydrophobic plasma coating 

Several visitors had come to find out more about the second key area; the latest developments involving the use of PlasmaPlus® to apply hydrophobic nanocoatings to electronic components. The technology developed by Plasmatreat and the Fraunhofer IFAM, Bremen, enables functional layers to be applied under atmospheric pressure in a matter of milliseconds. Plasmatreat JAPAN presented laboratory samples of plasma-coated circuit boards for the electronics industry.

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