The Benefits of Plasma Hydrophobic Coatings from P2i

Topics Covered

Introduction
P2i’s Plasma Coating
Plasma Enhanced Vapor Deposition
Process Equipment
Advantages of P2i’s Plasma Coating
Conclusion
About P2i Limited

Introduction

The application of hydrophobic coatings makes a surface repellent to liquids such as water by creating a low surface energy, which allows the liquid to create beads and slide off from the surface. P2i offers plasma hydrophobic coatings.

P2i’s Plasma Coating

Compared to spray-can coatings, P2i’s plasma coating differs in the durability and layering size. Spray-can coatings create micro-thick layers which are detectable through touch and produces physically visible discoloration or a white substance, making them unsuitable for application on delicate electronics.

The ultra thin thickness of P2i’s nano-coating means that they are physically invisible and do not modify the thermal properties of delicate electronics such as tablets and smartphones, thus preventing them from the risk of overheating.

Plasma Enhanced Vapor Deposition

Plasma enhanced vapor deposition is used to apply P2i’s plasma coating. The three-step process starts with placing an item into a chamber maintained at a very low pressure. This is followed by the activation of the device surfaces by plasma, enabling them to be bonded to the monomer that is applied as a vapour.

The final step is the polymerisation of the monomer by the plasma to create a nano-coating layer from inside to out of the product. The chamber is then returned to room pressure and the item is subsequently removed.

The plasma used by P2i consists of a specific combination of energized molecules. The size range of P2i's plasma chambers is 8-2000L. The company installs its plasma chambers into the production facilities of customers to satisfy their required yearly through-put demands.

The specific speed will vary depending on factors, including the nature, size and annual volumes of the product. The process cost varies depending on the end application requirements, the processing speed, the equipment size, and the volume of product to be treated.

The solvent-free process polymerises a pure protective monomer in very small quantities in an enclosed chamber, thus consuming minimal energy and producing negligible waste. This also means that there are no considerable emissions.

Process Equipment

Spray form is not possible for P2i's nano-coating, which should be performed using the company’s stand-alone nano-coating machines. Installation of the plasma chambers is simple and rapid. Depending on the type of the chamber, the requirements are an electric supply, an air extract, cooling water and compressed air.

The highly reliable equipment involves components designed for high volume production, thus minimising downtime. Loading new monomer cylinders and replacing exhaust line filters are the only routine maintenance required.

P2i's Global Service and Support Team provides around-the-clock preventative maintenance and repair services. Integration of these machines with existing assembly lines is simple. Unskilled workers can also operate the machines by the click of a button.

Advantages of P2i’s Plasma Coating

The application of P2i’s plasma coating over a product is carried out in a vacuum, covering every aspect of the product with no weak points to promote moisture or corrosion damage. Since the product surface is activated by the plasma, the layer of the nano-coating becomes an integral part of the product surface through chemical bonding.

The molecularly bound coating at the nanoscale level cannot be separated from the product surface, thus lasting as long as the material to which it gives protection. In addition, the plasma polymerisation applies a homogenous coating over the product surface.

P2i partners with companies such as Motorola to provide the application of the splash-proof coating over smartphones and tablets to impart superior liquid repellency. Plantronics provides protection to their headsets from moisture and sweat damage by applying the splash-proof coating.

A variety of materials can be benefit from P2i's technology in terms of performance, including paper, glass, ceramics, leather, fabrics, metals, and plastics. It is also possible to treat intricate 3D objects integrating different materials. As a result, customers can drastically enhance the product performance by providing protection against liquids without compromising the aesthetic appeal or feel.

Conclusion

P2i's ion-maskTM or Aridion™ technology is used to treat a range of products, including clothing, footwear, laboratory consumables, filters, MP3 players, hearing aids, and mobile phones. The company processes products and materials for many leading brands. 

A device’s electrical performance remains unaffected when treated as P2i uses a low temperature process that deposits nano-scale layers. However, since the process is a low pressure operation, it is not suitable for products that are incapable of withstanding low pressures.

About P2i Limited

P2i is uniquely positioned to provide tailored, invisible functionality across a range of manufacturing requirements, through proven nano-coating solutions. With commercial expertise driving application across five market sectors and a commitment to global service and support, P2i delivers outstanding performance improvement and new market opportunities to a wide range of products.

P2i was established in 2004 to commercialize technologies developed by the UK Government’s Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL). Research and development have identified innovative applications equipment and processing methods, culminating in a growing patent portfolio extending to over 65 families. Ongoing acquisitions have provided valuable new technologies such as antimicrobial, super hydrophilic and protein resistance coatings - making P2i the global leader in invisible surface functionality.

In addition to headquarters in the United Kingdom, P2i has a technology centre in the United States and an applications centre in China. P2i's technology is indicated in the Electronics sector by either its splash-proof or Dunkable™ nano-coatings.

In the Lifestyle sector, the technology is known as ion-mask™, while the P2i brand is used for industrial applications, such as those found in the Filtration and Life Sciences sectors.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by P2i Limited.

For more information on this source, please visit P2i Limited.

Date Added: Sep 1, 2014 | Updated: Sep 1, 2014
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