Modifying and coating surfaces cost-effectively with low-pressure plasma
Low-pressure plasma offers a wide variety of surface modification options. They range from activation and fine cleaning to customized functional coatings. Low-pressure plasma processes are characterized by low costs, minimal material consumption and high process reliability. Another advantage of this process technology is its adaptability to product changes. For example, material or geometry changes can be implemented quickly and easily. The use of large-volume systems also makes it possible to treat a large number of components simultaneously, so that the total cost of ownership (TCO) is low.
Fraunhofer IFAM has a wealth of experience in the targeted development of plasma processes, coupled with practical experience in terms of technical and economic feasibility. The work is supported by excellent capabilities in coating and surface analysis. This makes it possible to adapt the coating systems to a wide range of customer requirements. Adapted to the plasma processes, the scientists also design and build customer-specific pilot plants.
Customized transfer of plasma processes to production systems
Plasma processes represent individual, technologically high-quality system solutions for the surface treatment of products. Therefore, this production technology requires a plant technology adapted to the component and the production boundary conditions for economical and process-optimized use.
In order to ensure a high throughput of products, the size and design of the production equipment plays an essential role in low-pressure plasma processes. Central technical aspects that have to be considered are the electrode and fabric holder design as well as the gas flow management to ensure the layer quality at each point.
Fraunhofer IFAM has many years of experience in scaling up plasma processes on production equipment. With this expertise, it is possible, for example, to design and build large-volume plants (up to several m³ effective volume) or to transfer fast coating processes to small, low-cost plants with the lowest possible risk.
Pilot plants for a wide range of requirements
In order to easily transfer the plasma processes developed for you to your company, the scientists at Fraunhofer IFAM design and build customized low-pressure plasma pilot plants up to several cubic meters in size. This service is supported by the development, construction, and testing of product-specific electrode and gas guidance systems. In addition, we will be pleased to advise you on the preparation of a quality assurance concept. We offer a wide range of support services, e.g. in the form of automated service tools for checking and adjusting measurement equipment to ensure reproducible processes in series production. Development services for integration into existing production lines and for complete automation are also included in our offer. Professional training of your employees is also part of our service.
Low-pressure plasma systems: Cost-effective and durable
Low-pressure plasma systems are characterized by their low operating costs and long service life. This provides essential aspects for the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of the system. As a rule, no special effort is required for safety and workplace protection. The recording of all process-relevant control variables provides proof of quality-assured production.
Summarized for you: Our portfolio in the field of PECVD process development and plant engineering at a glance:
- Development of customized low-pressure plasma processes in coordination with the customer
- Design and construction of low-pressure plasma pilot plants up to several cubic meters in size matched to the developed process
- Development, construction and testing of product-specific electrode and fabric take-up systems
- Creation of a gas flow management system based on gas flow simulations
- Comprehensive consulting and analytical services
- Consulting for the development of a quality assurance concept
- Ensuring reproducible processes at all levels, e.g. through automated service tools for checking and adjusting the measuring equipment
- Development services for integration into existing production lines and for complete automation
- Training of employees for safe introduction of the new technology
Dr. Klaus Vissing heads the "Low Pressure Plasma Technology" working group at Fraunhofer IFAM. The researchers develop customized solutions for a wide range of products and requirements in close cooperation with the customer. The team is characterized by diverse, complementary competencies, so that a comprehensive range of development services can be covered, from design, electrical and control engineering, simulation of gas flows and electromagnetic fields, to thin-film characterization.