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Atmospheric Plasmas for Nanoscale Industrial Surface Processing (PlasmaNice)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Atmospheric plasma techniques as processing methods have a number of advantages which include their ability to tailor the surface chemistry at the nanometre level. As such, the plasma treatments are energy efficient, reproducible and environmentally clean. In-line, continuous reel-to-reel processing equipment has been developed in the last 5 years. The wide scale application of this nano-processing technology in the pre-treatment of packaging materials in reel-to-reel processing has however been severely limited. One of the main reasons for this is the relatively slow processing velocity for coating depositions. In general, the velocities need to be increased by 2-5 fold in order to fully exploit the new nano-processing techniques. This proposal will address these issues in order to assist in the transfer of atmospheric plasma processing technology from the laboratory scale to industrial level in the packaging industry. Special attention will go out to the very promising combination with sol-gel technology. A method and equipment for in-line plasma deposition of high-barrier bio-based coatings to be applied in conjunction with extrusion coating at industrial line speeds will be developed. The approach will exploit sol-gel coatings applied on the substrates by plasma deposition. The substrates include paper, cardboard and plastic films. Renewable, biobased and biodegradable materials will be used as extrusion coatings. The project aims at replacement of fluoropolymer based grease barrier materials with sol-gel coated bioplastics and substitution of non-renewable barrier packaging films with renewables based materials in general. To achive these objectives, several leading European institutes and universities in atmospheric plasma deposition technology (VITO and TUE), sol-gel development (FhG-ISC and VTT) and extrusion coating and analytics development (TUT and JSI) together with a range of industrial participants are incorporated in the proposal.
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