Wood 'n Plasma

Plasma treatment allows for tailormade surface modification. Via exposure to plasma under air, the wetability of wood can be increased with the objectiv of improved 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.


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 determine the effect on the glue-adhesion.


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 than wood can be treated by this method. Examples are, polymer materials and art work in the context of restauration.


Funding through BFH Interdepartemental Project no:006291

wood 'n plasma in Spirit of Biel/Bienne


AHB : Institute of Materials and Wood Technology - wood and surface treatment

TI: Institute for Human Centered Engineering - Robotics Laboratory

this project is also part of our participation in the activities of the NTN Innovative Surfaces