Microwave plasma technology is a very demanding application for surface treatment of plastics, metals, glass, recycled materials or composites. It is one of the most efficient methods to clean, activate or coat surfaces and is used in the electrical engineering, automotive, textile and many other industries.
Atmospheric pressure plasmas, unlike low-pressure plasma or high-pressure plasma, do not require a reaction vessel to maintain a pressure level or gas atmospheres different from atmospheric pressure. Such plasmas are used at low current densities to activate surfaces. In addition to the classical states of matter (solid, liquid and gas), plasma is often referred to as the "fourth" state of matter, since it has a different character compared to the classical three states.
By plasma is meant a strongly ionized gas, which is very different from usual gases. In addition to the neutral particles in the plasma (atoms and molecules), there are mobile charge carriers in the form of electrons and ions. These can be charged atoms or charged molecular residues.
Advantages of atmospheric plasma from Fricke and Mallah:
- Only air is required as the process gas, no other gases are needed
- High efficiency due to integrated adaptation elements
- Process reliability due to adapted processes
- Cost-efficient - no further media required for cleaning or activation
- Environmentally friendly and energy efficient
Together with Heuermann HF-Technik GmbH, Fricke und Mallah develops microwave plasma sources with excellent heat coupling (rapid heating). The result is a particularly high plasma density and high temperature processes up to 5000° C. More Details
Microwave generators developed in-house are used as the source. The operating frequency is 2.45 GHz, in the ISM band, and can thus be used worldwide without any further approvals. The microwave generators provide power in the single-digit kW range.
Fields of application
Recombination on the surfaces makes the following applications conceivable:
- Treatment of carbon fibers
- Deposition of thin layers
- Activation of surfaces
- Heating of thin layers with underlying critical materials
- Smoothing of porous surfaces
- Surface treatment of foils
- Surfaces of porous filters (sintered)
- Electrode surfaces for batteries/capacitors
- Spot heating of components
- Exhaust gas cleaning
- 3D printing of metals