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Integrating Online Atmospheric Plasma with Automatic Tape Placement and Similar Processes


Invention Reference Number


The aircraft and automobile industries use an automated tape placement (ATP) system for carbon composite manufacturing. The inter-ply adhesion between layups could be improved using alternative surface treatment of ATP feed stock. This technology is an online treatment of the ATP system to improve adhesion. The innovation lies in the use of atmospheric plasma to treat the carbon composite and improve chemical functionality, which results in improved adhesion vis-à-vis better mechanical properties of composites. 


Automatic tape placement is one of the precise composite manufacturing processes, which uses carbon fiber-based tapes to produce parts primarily for aircraft but also other industries. The process involves laying the carbon fiber tape on the mandrel followed by composite thickness build-up. But since carbon fibers are inert, this leads to minimal tape adhesion and eventual delamination. This does not allow the composite to have the desired strength required for the part. This technology integrates the clean atmospheric plasma treatment of the carbon fiber with ATP process. The plasma treatment actuates, physically and chemically, the surface of carbon fiber tape against the similar tape. This process integration results in better inter-tape adhesion. The improved adhesion leads to improved mechanical and interfacial properties.  

Applications and Industries

  • Aircraft/aerospace manufacturing 
  • Automobile manufacturing 
  • Sports equipment manufacturing 
  • Wind turbine Industry 
  • Healthcare Industry 


  • Enhances performance of structural parts 
  • Treatment is environmentally friendly 
  • Increases strength of carbon fiber reinforced composites 
  • Prevents delamination 
  • Online application 


To learn more about this technology, email or call 865-574-1051.