• Surface Enhancements

    Surface Enhancements | Plasma Treatment | Coatings & Primers

TriStar offers multiple techniques and processes to amplify adhesion, inhibit corrosion, reduce/enhance protein binding, and promote many other effects or properties. This department will address each unique situation to accomplish the desired result. We have many tools and a high level of technical knowledge in house to help us achieve these ends.

Plasma treatment is a surface modification technique that readily primes any surface for better acceptance of secondary manufacturing applications. Plasma is a reactive treatment process where positive and negative ions, electrons, and radicals react and collide as long as an electric potential difference exists. TriStar uses low pressure, or vacuum plasma, for more consistent and longer-lasting surface treatments. With plasma treatment, you can:

  • Microscopically change surfaces for improved bonding
  • Micro-clean to enhance the surface wetting of adhesives or over-molded elastomers
  • Functionalize groups (carbonyl, hydroxyl and others) to improve surface energy
  • Establish hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties

Materials ranging from ceramics, polymers, elastomers and metal assemblies are all good candidates for plasma treatment. In fact, plasma treatment actually boosts production yields by reducing defects caused by insufficient bonding of paints, inks, moldings and other coatings. Building plasma treatment into your manufacturing process upstream can eliminate defective application performance downstream.

Plasma in Practice

Plasma surface treatment is extremely versatile and used in a range of industries. It can enhance biocompatibility, prevent moisture absorption thru hydrophobic treatments, and it improves functionalization and adhesion ― all from a value-driven, green alternative to harsh chemical techniques. It even extends treatment lifetime from days to years.

Which industries can benefit from plasma surface modification?

Medical:

  • Cleaning glass slides prior to silane deposition treatments
  • Creating wettability on diagnostic devices and filter media
  • Creating hydrophobic properties for oxygen delivery devices
  • Improving biocompatibility of catheters used in surgery

Optical:

  • Preparation of polycarbonate lenses for improved coating adhesion

Pharmaceutical

  • Improving adhesion of coatings used in drug delivery

Electronics:

  • Treatment of piezo flow sensors for vibration tolerance

Aerospace:

  • Cleaning of metals for over molding for use in jet engine components.

Automotive:

  • Improve the adhesion of gaskets to other dissimilar materials

Consumer goods:

  • Improving surface adhesion of tires to wheels in remote control cars

Specialized coatings can be employed to inhibit corrosion or enhance adhesion, and for no-stick or lubricious applications. With TriStar's innovative coatings, you can:

  • Inhibit release of paint overspray
  • Detack elastomers gaskets or o-rings
  • Coat materials with innovative lubricious media.
  • Prepare surfaces to inhibit protein or other bio binding
  • Materials ranging from ceramics, polymers, elastomers and metal assemblies are all good candidates for TriStar coatings. Our coating offerings expand material capabilities, streamline manufacturing processes, and enhance assembly performance.

Coatings in Practice

TriStar developed a special coating for the bread industry. One stage of the bread-making process requires that the wet and sticky dough “proof” (rise) in individual polymer baskets. The problem has been poor release of the sticky dough once proofing is complete. TriStar developed a special non-stick coating which greatly improves release - dramatically reducing maintenance and down time.

Which industries can benefit from TriStar’s innovative coatings?

Medical:

  • Detack rubber septum
  • Lubricous coatings for catheters
  • Inhibit nonspecific protein binding
  • Enhance protein binding

Electronics:

  • Moisture protection
  • Solvent protection

Aerospace:

  • Coatings for detack and adhesion.

Automotive:

  • Lubricous and detack bushings and bearings

Primers are a mixture of compounds that prepare a surface for coating, paint, or adhesive. The primers typically have two main properties — Swell host material and inset active moieties. Generally, most materials can be altered this way with simple over-the-counter primers and formulations. But, there are projects that require customized primers for specific properties. With TriStar's innovative primers, you can:

  • Prepare aluminum for peroxide cure silicone overmolding
  • Prepare aluminum, brass, steel for vulcanized rubber overmolding
  • Prepare polymers and elastomers for cyanoacrylate bonding
  • Prepare materials for silicone RTV bonding

Materials ranging from ceramics, polymers, elastomers and metal assemblies are all good candidates for primers. In fact, TriStar’s innovative primers actually boost production yields by reducing defects caused by insufficient bonding of paints, inks, moldings and other coatings.

Primers in Practice

One of our key primer formulations was developed for an fluoroelastomer overmolding process. The customer, a major international manufacturer, needed a custom primer with very specific characteristics: The primer had to meet the specification for overmolded adhesion, protect the metal frame, and be clear in color. We developed a custom primer to meet these exact requirements.

Which industries can benefit from primers?

Electronics:

  • Assembly of electrical connectors

Aerospace:

  • Cleaning of metals for over molding for use in jet engine components.

Automotive:

  • Improve the adhesion of gaskets to other dissimilar materials

Parylene is the generic name used to describe a family of polymers based on polyxylene. It is a conformal surface coating that protects sensitive devices by providing a barrier layer against environmental contaminants. Parylene is a good solution for manufacturers requiring low-friction, pin-free or ultra-thin polymer surface treatment. With parylene treatments you can:

  • Improve the performance and durability of manufacturing components
  • Extend lifetime coating to a decade or even longer
  • Reduce surface tack and stickiness
  • Strengthen molded plastic magnetic components
  • Provide a barrier against leaching or blooming

Parylene in Practice

To ensure the best Parylene adhesion, products must first be micro-cleaned via plasma surface modification to remove trace contaminants. Once clean, the Parylene coating is then applied in thin layers through a dip, spray or flow method.

Which industries can benefit from parylene?

Medical:

  • stents, electrosurgical tools, catheters, mandrels, molds, needles, epidural probes, electronic controls, pacemakers, defibrillators

Electronics:

  • circuit boards, sensors, MEMS, relays, photoelectric, transformers, coils, accelerometers, fiber optics, connector pins, piezo electronics

Automotive:

  • sensors, controls, seals, gaskets, o-rings