Modifying the surface tension

Increasing or reducing the surface tension (resp. surface energy) of solid surfaces is one of the primary applications of plasma technology. High surface tension provides for:

  • good wettability by liquids and thus
  • good adhesion of paints, inks, adhesives, solders
  • good filtering properties of porous materials

Low surface tension provides for:

  • water-repellence and thus
  • water-proof fabrics
  • non-soiling and self-cleaning surfaces
  • no attack by reactive liquids
  • Epilamisation: prevents dissolving of lubricating oils

High surface tension is achieved by:

Low surface tension is achieved by:

  • plasma coating with hydrophobic polymers, in particular by using fluorine monomers as a process gas and polymerisation to PTFE-like coats or HMDSO and polymerisation to quartz-like coats.

See a video of the effect of plasma activation on the surface tension

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