Surface Functionalisation through Plasma Treatment of Hard Wood

Plasma treatment allows tailormade surfaces modification. Via exposure to plasma under air, the wettability of wood can be increased with the objective of improved glue adhesion.

Fiche signalétique

  • Département HESB | Technique et informatique
  • Pôle de recherche Technique de production
  • Champ de recherche Technologies appliquées laser, photonique et de surface
  • Durée 01.02.2014 - 31.12.2015
  • Direction du projet Thomas Nelis
  • Partenaires - établissements de recherche, y c. BFH HESB | Architecture, bois et génie civil
  • Mots-clés Functionalisation, Plasma Treatement, Hard Wood

Contexte initial

The project studies the impact of plasma treatment on the wettability of wood surfaces and its influence on the following manufacturing processes e.g. gluing and coating. A µ-wave driven atmospheric pressure discharge is used to modify the surface properties of the wood surface. Contact angle measurements are used to determine the change of surface energy, i.e. wettability. Finally standardized gluing procedures are used to determine the effect on the glue-adhesion.


The “wood ‘n plasma” addresses plasma treatment of wood surfaces. The topic is relevant for the wood processing industry in view of the need for engineered wood products, reduction of production cost and use of harmful chemical products.

Compétences clés

surface characterisation, plasma, hard wood, automation


Plasma treatment clearly enhances the wettability of wood surfaces, in particular of hard wood as beech. The change in contact angle measurement is clearly visible even several hours after the treatment. The plasma treatment is done under ambient air and no specific gases are required. The improvement of the gluing properties is still under study.


As the treatment termperature remains low, other material wood can be treated by this method. Examples are, polymer materials and art work in the context of restauration.