Application solution for the cleaning and activation of surfaces

The pre-treatment of surfaces before the application of adhesives is necessary to achieve an ideal bond between two elements and the adhesive. This process is divided into cleaning and activation of the surface.

During the cleaning, contaminations such as dust and grease are removed from the surface. This process mainly utilizes wet-chemical cleaners, primarily alcohol and ketone. In recent years, cleaning by gas-based plasma increased. However, there are limits to the application of this process.

Surface activation creates a surface with specific qualities. In an ideal case, surface activation creates countless functional groups with which the adhesive can react. This process usually requires a bonding agent.

Similar to the cleaning, this process utilizes wet-chemical systems. Alternatives are gas-based plasma, flame impingement or the SaCo-process. Important here is the group of activators, which integrates both functions. It is used to reactivate a surface previously treated with a bonding agent to clean and activate after a period of time. This process utilizes the Wipe-On/Wipe-Off concept.

ATN offers several application solutions for cleaning and activating surfaces with a wet-chemical process and all other proven and tested products, which are used in the automotive industry as well as other industries. Since they are developed as Plug&Play systems, these components can be modified to customer specifications and can be integrated in any automated production process. ATN also offers complete automated concepts for implementation.

Application process

There are three separate techniques when it comes to the application of a cleaner, primer or activator. The selection is made based on the element, the surface and the processed material. Additional concerns such as safety and health regulations as well as fire prevention during application play a role in the decision making process.


  • suitable for uneven and rough surfaces
  • spraying with a spray head
  • wide area of application
  • free of wear and tear
  • risk of overspray


  • application with a soaked felt piece
  • felt wears and needs to be replaced
  • also suitable for wiping after spray application
  • limited application area
  • crisp and clean application


  • suitable for even and smooth surfaces
  • application with a soaked brush
  • brush deteriorates and needs to be replaced
  • limited application area
  • crisp and clean application
Brush application of a black primer
Cleaning head (spraying and felting)
Spray primer head with dispenser

Processable materials

  • heptane
  • isopropanol
  • solvent borne bondig agents
  • solvent borne bonding agents with grime additives
  • bonding agents on a water basis
  • activators

System technology

Dispenser ESP

Features and advantages

  • continuous application – refilling piston is not necessary
  • precise dosing with repeatability of over 99%
  • volumemetric discharge
  • gentle and pulsation-free dispensing
  • speed electronically controlled
  • residue-free design
  • spot and bead applications without material accumulations at start and stop
  • anti-dripping mechanism
  • maintenance friendly
  • valve free
  • independent from viscosity tolerances
  • flexible application angles due to cavity pump system
  • stainless steel finish
  • heating (optional)

Processable product specifications

  • from low to medium viscosity
  • highly filled materials
  • abrasive materials
  • shear sensitive materials
  • aggressive materials

General technical data

inlet pressure:0 – 20 bar
doser pressure max.:0 – 40 bar
temperature:0 – 80 °C
revolution speed:max. 200 U/min

Technical data
Dispenser ESP 30

dosing volume:0,15 ml/min
volume flow:1,0 – 30 ml/min
dosing minimum:0,01 ml

Dispenser ESP 80

dosing volume:0,4 ml/min
volume flow:80 ml/min
dosing minimum:0,02 ml

Function extension for the dispenser

  • brush
  • felt
  • monitoring (brush, felt)
  • circulation connector

Spray head

The spray head doses and applies the primer. High-pressured spray material is delivered to the spray head and then the control piston is operated by compressed air.

First, it opens the spray air valve and, with a minor delay, the material nozzle. After the application, the material spray head is shut first and then the spray air valve to avoid leakage of the material nozzle. The spray material is pulverized via compressed air.

Technical data

material pressure:max. 12 bar
atomizer pressure:max. 8 bar
weight:380 g

Adjustable factors

  • selection of air and material nozzle
  • atomizer
  • material pressure
  • needle travel

Application controls IFC

The ATN IFC application controls system (independent flow control) is made up of one IPC with 12“ Touch Display (screen resolution of 800x600 pixel). The IFC system controls and monitors all vital parameters and components of the application process. All processes are visualized on the display and components can be easily controlled.

Composition and functions of IFC

  • the system includes a switch cabinet with IPC and control panel
  • simple intuitive operation
  • freely adjustable and configurable systems for all types of applications
  • parameterization of all relevant process parameters (e.g. volume flow, pressure, temperature)
  • remote control for HMI systems via network
  • extensive logging and diagnosis capabilities
  • connection to production networks possible

Technical data

  • Intel® Atom™ Processor
  • fanless design
  • 2x USB (1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0)
  • 2x Ethernet interface 10/100/1000 Mbit
  • CAN-Interface
  • ultibus module for integration in main network (e.g. Profibus, Profinet, Ethernet / IP, CAN)

Material supply

The primer material supply is made up of four main components: pressure container, membrane pump, weighing cell and surge drum.

Pressure Container

  • available in different sizes between 1l and 45l
  • pressurization using dry air or nitrogen
    (optionally controlled by proportional valve)
  • stirrer system and circulation connector are optional

Membrane pump

  • located within the return path
  • permanent circulation of primer material

Weighing Cell

  • fluid level detection
  • alternatively via sensors (depends on barrel configuration)

Surge Drum

  • protection for an uninterrupted production



Primer application

Test application of a black primer by brush application.



Combined primer application

The video shows the combined spray and brush primer for a customer test.



Need more information about product?

We will be glad to assist. Please consult our colleagues, or write to us using the general contact form.

Phone: +49 35936 335-0
Fax: +49 35936 335-2000
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Cleaning and activation

Our application technology for the cleaning and activation of components can be found in our
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Industry solutions

ATN develops application technology and automation solutions across industries. An overview of our largest areas can be found Opens internal link in current windowhere