The new FPC process – Plasmatreat and efc plasma open competence center for metallic thin-film technology

Just two months after the successful introduction of the new Fine Powder Coating (FPC) plasma process at this year’s Hannover Messe, Plasmatreat joined forces with efc plasma to launch a competence center for metallic thin-film technology in the Bavarian town of Allershausen that represents an important addition to the company’s range of services.

Photo: Plasmatreat
The FCP plasma process takes pride of place. Customers can watch their components being coated via a window in the centrally located plasma coating cell.

Working in partnership with efc plasma, a company based in Ingolstadt which develops layering processes and powder management technology for the Plasmatreat FPC process, Plasmatreat provides processing companies at home and abroad with a one-stop-shop for the high-tech toll manufacturing of plasma metalized components. The FPC plasma coating cell lies at the heart of the modern, airy facilities. As well as sampling, laboratory testing and developing and applying coatings, the new center also provides customers with expert advice on how to integrate the inline process into their own continuous and fully automated production lines.

Photo: Plasmatreat
Automotive: The FPC plasma process is used to selectively apply a friction-enhancing nickel-diamond coating to the sprocket to prevent the shaft from slipping, thus dispensing with the need to insert an intermediate disk.

The innovative process has nothing in common with conventional chemical powder coating techniques. The Plasmatreat FPC allows for cleaning and activation of substrates in a single, environmentally-friendly operation and produces functional metallic coatings in a matter of seconds. One special benefit is that it enables locally selective application: In contrast to spraying or dipping bath processes, the robot-controlled fine plasma nozzle applies coatings with millimeter precision. The process uses fine metal powders such as copper, aluminum or tin to coat thermally sensitive materials like plastics, thereby rendering them conductive and solderable without the use of VOC-emitting wet chemicals. Special friction-enhancing or corrosion protection layers can be applied to metals in an environmentally safe manner; a technique which the FPC center in Allershausen is already applying to small serial production of special vehicle construction elements for German car manufacturers.

Photo: Plasmatreat
White goods: Shadow masking for the application of a circuit structure designed to manage control signals to a polyamide plastic using the FPC plasma process.

Openair® plasma performs multiple functions in the FPC process. A first robot-controlled plasma nozzle is responsible for microfine cleaning and activating material surfaces prior to coating, whilst the plasma inside a second nozzle provides a safe and rapid transport medium for the powder heated within it. With this process the fine powder particles are injected directly into the high-energy plasma jet. The metal particles absorb the thermal plasma energy. The high-density plasma in the middle of the plasma jet melts the particles which then fuse to form a layer. The kinetic energy of the plasma jet transports the particles from the Openair® plasma jet to the substrate, where a homogeneous metallic coating is produced.

The powder, powder delivery system and plasma system are precisely matched to achieve the required deposition and coating characteristics. Whether to enhance the tribology and corrosion protection of metals or the electrical conductivity, solderability or heat transmission of plastics - Plasmatreat FPC technology provides an economically efficient and environmentally friendly means of reliably producing high quality, reproducible coatings for demanding customized requirements.

For further information please contact:
Werner Krammel, Plasmatreat FPC Market Manager or call us on: Tel.: +49 5204 9960-0

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