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February 2018

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SwRI Develops Cost-Effective Coating Technique

Southwest Research Institute's Dr. Vicky Poenitzsch led the development of High Power Impulse Plasma Source technology that efficiently generates coatings using high-density, high-flux plasmas at low temperatures and atmospheric pressures.

Southwest Research Institute has developed High Power Impulse Plasma Source (HiPIPS) technology engineered to efficiently generate coatings using high-density, high-flux plasmas at low temperatures and atmospheric pressures.

These coatings extend the life, enhance the properties and prevent damage and corrosion of materials and components. "HiPIPS, first developed under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program, is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to surface modification techniques that typically require thermal processes or vacuum chambers," said a company spokesperson. "HiPIPS' unique abilities open the door for new coating chemistries and unprecedented coating / substrate combinations." Potential applications include coatings on plastics, textiles and biologically sensitive materials as well as depositing protective metallic and ceramic coatings as an environmentally friendly alternative to electroplating.

"HiPIPS has already had groundbreaking successes in developing coatings for defense applications," said Dr. Vicky Poenitzsch, a principal scientist in SwRI's Mechanical Engineering Division, who led the development of the technology. "Because HiPIPS outperforms other ambient pressure plasmas and rivals vacuum plasma systems, the technology could revolutionize the surface engineering industry."

SwRI-developed HiPIPS technology is engineered to be useful for surface cleaning, activation of polymer surfaces and improving interfacial adhesion in layered composite materials. It also deposits conductive coatings on plastics and durable, super-hydrophobic coatings for self-cleaning and drag reduction applications.

"HiPIPS is portable and scalable with a nearly inexhaustible range of applications," Poenitzsch said.

For more information contact:

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)

6220 Culebra Rd

San Antonio, TX 78228

210-684-5111

www.swri.org

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