Category: AUTOMOTIVE / Cleaning
28. May 2015   2:00 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

As anyone who’s ever tried to clean oil paint off brushes knows, it’s not an easy task – that paint is tenacious!

Paint removal from grates and jigs is a particular challenge in industrial automotive applications, given the volumes involved. Oftentimes, the production lines must be completely halted for multi-cycle, high-water-pressure cleaning of grates, which is both time- and energy-intensive.

The alternative, high-temperature carbonization cleaning, is generally done off-site – leading to lots of production downtime – and can damage the grates’ zinc coating.

But we’ve been working in conjunction with our colleagues at Fraunhofer IFAM to develop a plasma-based solution to this problem, and we’re pleased to let you know that we’ve done it.

PermaCLEANPLAS® coating is a permanent paint release coating that facilitates the removal of overspray that occurs in high-volume paint coating industries (such as automotive):

  • Reduces time and energy needed for paint removal; 500 bar vs. 2500 bar water pressure needed
  • Thorough cleaning in a single cycle
  • Appropriate for complex geometries
  • Zinc coating of grate is not damaged, as it can be with high-temp carbonization cleaning
  • Resistant between pH = 2-12
  • Environmentally friendly, quiet technology
  • Solvent resistant
  • Colorless, transparent
  • Stable up to 300° C
  • Cleaning can be performed inside the factory, which means no contamination and less production downtime
  • Coating remains functional after 1000+ cleaning cycles

PermaCLEANPLAS® is applied via a low-pressure, cold-coating plasma deposition process to clean, rust-free surfaces. It can be used for both aqueous paint coatings and powder coatings (if cured), and on various substrates, including hot-dipped or galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, plastics, and powder-coated components.

Photo courtesy Fraunhofer IFAM. All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy Fraunhofer IFAM. All rights reserved.

It’s a very effective process, one that is already being used by major automotive manufacturers (including Mercedes-Benz) in Germany and the rest of Europe. We’re looking forward to rolling it out to U.S. auto manufacturers soon.

If you’d like more info about the process, please contact my California-based colleague, Khoren Sahagian, at (650) 596-1606, x2233.

14. May 2015   2:33 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL


I was speaking recently with Tim Smith, the Canada-based Vice President of Plasmatreat North America. The focus of our discussion? Engine oil pans.

(I know – it doesn’t sound riveting. But bear with me.)

As you may know, oil pans are now increasingly being made out of nylon (PA66) rather than the traditional steel or aluminum. Lightweighting is a factor for this change, as is cost. The oil pan is affixed to the engine block with RTV silicone … and here’s where things get interesting from a plasma perspective.

Nylon oil pans must be pretreated with plasma, or else the silicone simply won’t adhere properly to them. And poor adhesion in this case means messy oil leaks, stained driveways, and unhappy customers.

It’s also important to note that the plasma pretreatment must take place immediately prior to the RTV silicone dispense in order to be effective – not at the oil pan factory, not 12 months before adhesion, not prior to being handled by several sets of factory-dirty hands. Plasma works well here, but it can’t work miracles under the wrong conditions!

In any event, what I began thinking about after speaking with Tim was the fact that Plasmatreat offers a wide variety of solutions for a wide variety of industrial applications. And some are just inherently more flashy and exciting-sounding than others. But all are important in making our world run better and more reliably.

From lowly oil pans great automobiles are launched, in other words. And, to me, that’s incredibly interesting stuff.

If there’s a manufacturing solution we can help you out with, be it big or small, please don’t hesitate to let us know.