The 18th SPE Automotive Awards ceremony for outstanding developments in plastic components for the automotive industry took place on the 6 July 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Düsseldorf-Neuss. Plasmatreat’s system partner AKRO-PLASTIC came second in the new Enabler Technology category with a test specimen manufactured using the Plasma-SealTight® process.
The Enabler Technology category aims to showcase new process technologies and automated production processes. The PST process technology (Plasma-SealTight®) jointly developed by AKRO-PLASTIC and Plasmatreat for creating high-strength, long-time stable plastic-to-metal bonds impressed the judges. Especially the fact that, for the first time, the process can be integrated inline. The first step involves cleaning the surface of the metal inlay with Openair-Plasma®. In the next step a second plasma nozzle is used to apply a plasma-polymer film to the metal surface which has both adhesion-promoting and anticorrosion functions. With this technology, tensile-shear strengths in excess of 50 MPa can be achieved between plastic and metal. In the current trial series investigating bond strength between aluminum and AKROMID® B3 GF 30 7 PST (adhesion-optimized polyamide 6 GF 30), the development team has succeeded in avoiding failure break at the joint interface between plastic and metal.
The film applied using the innovative PST process adheres to the metal surface (copper, aluminum, steel and stainless steel) and at the same time generates organic compounds which facilitate adhesion to the material AKROMID® B3 GF 30 7 PST. During overmolding, the metal insert is heated to a temperature above the melting temperature of the polymer to activate these compounds. The plastic-to-metal bond of the test specimen has a strength of 35 MPa before the aluminum – and not the adhesive bond – fails due to extreme loading.
“The plastic-to-metal bond achieves strengths in excess of 20 Mpa even at 120° C and is therefore suitable for load-bearing components as well as for media-tight overmolding of metal inserts” says Cyprian Golebiewski, director of application engineering at AKRO-PLASTIC.
PLASMATREAT WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE AKRO-PLASTIC GMBH ON RECEIVING THE PRICE AND TO THANK THEM FOR PROVIDING THE TEXT AND IMAGES FOR THIS REPORT.