On almost all surfaces there are fine soiling invisible to the human eye, which severely impairs further treatment of surfaces such as gluing, printing, painting or coating. These fine impurities on metals, plastics or inorganic materials can be removed by surface cleaning without the use of additional chemicals. In contrast to plasma coating or plasma etching, the surface of the workpiece is not removed or additionally coated, but merely modified.
Surface cleaning with atmospheric pressure plasmas is a process of removing organic, inorganic and microbial surface contaminants, as well as strongly adhering dust particles. It is highly efficient and at the same time very gentle to the treated surface. At higher strength, it can remove weak surface boundary layers, cross-link surface molecules and even reduce hard metal oxides. Plasma cleaning promotes wettability and adhesion enabling a wide spectrum of industrial processes preparing surfaces for bonding, gluing, coating and painting. While being performed using air or typical industrial gases including hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen, it avoids wet chemistry and expensive vacuum equipment, which positively affects its costs, safety, and environmental impact. Fast processing speeds further facilitate numerous industrial applications.