This action will implement the new Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Solution Deposition (PECSD) technique for coating of wood and wood-based substrates. This technique synergistically employs plasma-chemistry in the gas phase and polymer chemistry in the liquid formulation, thus combining all benefits of conventional surface coatings and plasma-based deposition technologies. This will be carried out as a novel integrated process for the continuous coating of substrates including three steps:
(a) Plasma pre-treatment for optimized substrate wetting and liquid uptake,
(b) Application of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based liquid formulations including various additives,
(c) Film formation via fast plasma curing.
This overall goal is divided into three main objectives:
Objective I: Building the integrated device,
Objective II: Optimization of the deposition parameters, and
Objective III: Demonstrating the technique’s capability and priming the industrial implementation.
These objectives can only be achieved in the proposed collaboration, i.e. with my knowledge of plasma deposition and design of suitable devices, the wood coating experts’ knowledge of surface wood finishing at the University of Ljubljana, as well as the knowledge of plasma and surface diagnostics at the Jožef Stefan Institute. This complementarity is unique in all of Europe and will ensure the success of the action.
Further, the knowledge exchange will not only help me to implement a stable career path in research and innovation, but also yield a cross-border propagation of this new and innovative field of research. The cross-cutting objectives especially extend the new technique to contribute to the pan-European sustainable development by implementing a novel environmentally friendly production technique that will allow to use renewable (e.g. wood-based) resources in novel settings. The transfer of this technology to the industrial sector will be already primed by the action.