The objective of this project was to develop a novel non contact diagnostic technique for the determination of the chemical species present on the surface of metallic materials and composites. The use of atmospheric plasma techniques for the removal of contaminants was investigated. The performance of the novel non contact diagnostic technique was benchmarked based on conventional surface chemical analysis techniques (i.e. XPS), in addition to paint / sealant adhesion testing. It was planned to use LabVIEW software to facilitate real-time process control based on the output data provided by the non contact surface analysis technique.
This report provided an overview of the PlasmaClean project which investigated the use of air atmospheric plasma treatments for the removal of organic contaminants on both titanium and composite substrates. Process monitoring was evaluated using reflectance infra-red spectroscopy combined with optical emission spectroscopy (OES) and acoustic techniques. Based on this study the air plasma treatment combined with OES has been shown to exhibit considerable potential for controlled contaminant removal during the manufacture of aerospace composites. After the Introduction section this report summarises the results of the main project tasks as follows:
- Evaluation results on the use of nebulizers for the controlled contamination of composite surfaces
- Evaluation reflectance IR and / or mass spectrometry for the chemical examination of contaminants
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of the atmospheric plasma jet system for contaminant removal based on chemical analysis and paint adhesion study
- Surface mapping and control during atmospheric plasma treatments