Plasma – The fourth state of matter

Plasma technology is based on a simple physical principle. Matter changes its state when energy is supplied to it: solids becomes liquid, and liquids becomes gaseous. If even more energy is supplied to a gas, it is ionized and goes into the energy-rich plasma state, the fourth state of matter.

Plasma was first discovered by IrvingLangmuir in 1928. It is not rare; actually, quite the opposite is true. More than 99% of the visible matter in the universe is in the plasma state. It can be seen in its natural form on earth as lightning or as polar light in the Arctic and Antarctic, for example. During a solar eclipse, plasma can be observed as a bright circle of light (corona) around the sun.

With increasing energy input, the state of matter changes from solid to liquid to gaseous. If additional energy is then fed into a gas by means of electrical discharge, the gas will turn into plasma.

Plasma energy changes the world

The term plasma designates matter with a high, unstable energy level. When plasma comes into contact with solid materials like plastics and metals, its energy acts on the surfaces and changes important properties, such as the surface energy.

In the manufacturing industry, this principle is used for selective modification of material characteristics. Treatment with Openair® plasma energy causes a targeted and exactly adjustable increase in the adhesiveness and wettability of surfaces. This makes it possible to use completely new (even non-polar) materials and environmentally-friendly, solvent-free (VOC-free) paints and adhesives industrially. Today, many chemical surface treatment processes can be replaced with Openair® plasma treatment.

Plasma treatment for almost all areas of industry

Because it is easy to use and can be integrated inline, plasma treatment has been used for many years in almost all areas of industry, including automobile engineering, transport, electronics manufacturing, packaging technology, consumer goods, life sciences, textiles and new forms of energy.

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