Surface treatment of films
The surface treatment of plastic film materials is the main area of application of corona treatment. Industrial processes based upon a plasma discharge allow operators to increase adhesion of printing colours, lacquers, adhesives and coatings on their films in quick, economic and lasting way. It is important to distinguish between pre-treatment, which is performed by plastic film producers during production, and the so-called refresher treatment, which is performed by converters before processing steps such as printing or laminating.
Since the 1950s, when it first became commercially available in the industry, plasma treatment has developed into an indispensable part of production and converting processes. Alternative processes often lead to higher cost and effort, which makes corona technology the only sensible choice in many areas. In fact, existing processes can often be simplified with a corona system. After all, plasma is pure energy.
SOFTAL was founded over fifty years ago as an early pioneer of corona technology. In our long history as a market and technology leader, we have used many opportunities to improve on designs utilizing corona and plasma technology and to usher this technology’s tremendous success in the market.
Environmentally friendly process
Low operating cost
Install and forget
SOFTAL has been part of the corona and plasma industry for more than half a century. Our engineers and developers know, what really matters at the end of the production day. Factors like easy maintenance and service, low operating cost, long life and the optimum in operator safety are considered early in the development process to ensure maximum user-friendliness and uptime.
Customer-specific interfaces and solutions
The numerous hardware and software solutions offered by our treatment systems ensure seamless integration into customer-specific systems and processes. Starting from proven standard components, our systems can be modified to suit any material and/or process. We specialize in the surface treatment of your materials – so you can concentrate on your core business.
We are proud of our growing global customer base that includes manufacturers of film production lines, finishers, film producers and research companies.
Naturally, the portfolio of products offered by SOFTAL is just as multi-faceted as our customer base. This is made possible by the modular design of our treatment systems, which allows customer-specific changes and a rapid development of new systems and processes. This ideal starting point allows us to meet customer demands and achieve results. Guaranteed.
Shape, material and position of the corona electrode assembly, along with the characteristics of the related treater roll, determine the homogeneity and efficiency of the plasma discharge. Constant further development of our electrodes has generated a number of patents, including our Intelliblade™ electrode and our liquid cooled ceramic electrodes, both of which have been tried and tested hundreds of times.number of patents, including our Intelliblade™ electrode and our liquid cooled ceramic electrodes, both of which have been tried and tested hundreds of times.
There are film materials that require an extremely high-powered plasma discharge to achieve the desired effect, others are so sensitive to electric discharges that they would be destroyed, even in a standard low-power plasma discharge. There is a solution for every film – just ask us.
Pre-treatment for converting steps
If a film is subjected to corona treatment directly after production, good results can be achieved with relatively little effort. As surface characteristics are an important sales argument, corona pre-treatment offers plastic film producers a simple and cost-efficient way to an improved product.
SOFTAL technology for surface treatment of films
Material surfaces are treated with the plasma generated by a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) to increase their surface energy. An increase in surface energy leads to an increase in the adhesive forces exerted by the surface, which is a major advantage for printing, laminating and other processes. This effect is therefore used frequently in the production and converting of plastic films and other substrates.
So-called plasma treatment technology is based on the same principle as corona treatment systems. However, in a plasma treatment system, the discharge is ignited within an atmosphere of pure Nitrogen. This gives the user better control of the process gas atmosphere and treatment results.
Linear Plasma is a further development of the Plasma Jet technology and suitable for treatment of large surface areas. As no counter-electrode outside of the electrode housing is required, this technology is suitable for materials of virtually unlimited thickness. Another important feature of Linear Plasma is the ability to generate a potential-free plasma, which is usable on even the most sensitive materials that would otherwise be destroyed by a plasma discharge.
In an ALDYNE™ system, the plasma is ignited within an exactly controlled process gas atmosphere. The composition of the process gas can be adjusted, until the process gas atmosphere and plasma discharge fit the requirements of the related material perfectly. Often used in combination with our patented liquid-cooled electrodes, ALDYNE™ offers extreme results on extreme materials.
The portfolio of products offered by SOFTAL is as diverse as the possible applications of corona technology. Our corona and plasma systems are always based on our tried and tested standard components, but specifically chosen and adopted to meet the demands of your materials and processes.
SOFTAL corona generators are, of course, just as adaptive as our corona stations. It goes without saying that the products of a company that has been successful in the market for decades offer the ease-of-use, robustness, low maintenance and service costs and numerous small and large solutions for smooth everyday production work that you expect form a global player.