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Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING HOOK FASTENERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/124992
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention discloses a method to produce hooks (2) on polymeric film or fiber material as fastener element (2) by treating the polymeric material surface by atmospheric plasma treatment. Produced hooks (2) with the method of the present invention, show improved bonding strength. The present invention further provides hooks (2) with improved mechanical resistance. It has been stated in the present invention that, hooks (2) produced by atmospheric plasma treatment have improved mechanical features in comparison to non-atmospheric plasma treated hook (2) components. Furthermore, hooks (2) produced according to present invention enable improved attachment to the landing zones of disposable absorbent articles.

Inventors:
KOC FIKRET (TR)
SOYLEMEZ SERDAR (TR)
CANBOLAT EYLEM (TR)
Application Number:
PCT/TR2016/050575
Publication Date:
July 05, 2018
Filing Date:
December 29, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HAYAT KIMYA SAN A S (TR)
International Classes:
B29C59/14; A44B18/00; B29C43/22; B29C59/04
Foreign References:
US20090311438A12009-12-17
US20130059111A12013-03-07
US20050212170A12005-09-29
US7008589B12006-03-07
US20090068393A12009-03-12
EP0603189A11994-06-29
US20100180407A12010-07-22
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Claims:
CLAIMS

Claim 1. A method for manufacturing of hook(s) (2) as a component of fastening system comprising the steps; i) providing a polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ), ii) providing a molding cylinder roll (4), having plurality of cavities (16), iii) providing a free rotating cylinder roll (6), iv) providing an atmospheric plasma treatment device (14) with a gas source, v) introducing said polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) with the molding cylinder roll (4), vi) treating the polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) by means of an atmospheric plasma treatment device (14), to soften said polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ), vii) pressing said softened polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) through the cavities (16) of the molding cylinder roll (4) and free rotating cylinder roll (6) to form hook(s) (2), viii) cooling and solidifying formed hooks (2).

Claim 2. A method for manufacturing of hook(s) with an atmospheric plasma treatment device (14) with a gas source according to claim 1 , wherein said gas source is air, nitrogen or argon gas, preferably nitrogen gas.

Claim 3. A method for manufacturing of hook(s) with an atmospheric plasma treatment device (14) according to claim 1 , wherein the plasma treatment device (14) is provided in a distance of between 2 to 15 mm, preferably 2 to 4 mm from the polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) surface.

Claim 4. A method for manufacturing of hook(s) comprising providing a polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein said polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) comprises of thermoplastic and/or thermoset materials comprising; polyesters, polyolefins, polyamides, polyurethanes, polycarbonates, elastomers, vinyl polymers, polyurethane or mixtures thereof.

Claim 5. A method for manufacturing of hook(s) comprising providing a polymeric film and/or fiber material (1 ) comprises of thermoplastic and/or thermoset materials according to claim 4, wherein said thermoplastic and/or thermoset materials are polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene or mixtures thereof, preferably polypropylene. Claim 6. An apparatus for manufacturing of hooks (2) from a polymeric film or fiber material (1 ) according to preceding claims comprising; i- providing a molding cylinder roll (4) having an outer surface with plurality of cavities (16) of specific shapes to form the hook(s) (2), ii- providing a free rotating cylinder roll (6) having an outer surface placed contiguously to molding cylinder roll (4) to form a joining point of the molding cylinder roll (4) and free rotating cylinder roll (6), iii- providing a plasma treatment device (14) with a gas source, placed in proximity to the joining point of the molding cylinder roll (4) and free rotating cylinder roll (6).

Claim 7. A process for production of hooks (2) according to preceding claims, wherein said hooks (2) are used as fastener element of disposable absorbent articles comprising diaper, pull up, adult diaper and pant, wherein; said fastener element comprises hook (2) and loop (12) fasteners.

Description:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING HOOK FASTENERS

TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates to a method of producing hooks (2) on polymeric material (1 ) as fastener element having a plurality of interlocking means wherein, the atmospheric plasma treatment is applied to form hooks (2). By the way, the bonding strength of the formed hooks (2) is improved on the receiving surface such as, nonwoven based receiving surfaces. Fastener element is produced by applying atmospheric plasma on polymeric material to soften polymeric material and shaping it as hooks (2) between a molding cylinder (4) and free cylinder (6) wherein the method does not require applying additional high amount of pressure or heat on the polymer surface. Used polymeric material may be synthetic polymeric materials (1 ) or nonwoven based materials such as; polymer films, layers, fibers or web structures and can be shaped in any form after treated with atmospheric plasma. By the way of using atmospheric plasma treatment method, the surface energy of the polymeric material is increased which enables processing the polymeric material easily. Moreover, formed hooks (2) by plasma treatment can withstand mechanical forces and leads to improved bonding strength.

BACKGROUND ART

Production of refastenable mechanical fasteners are well known in the prior art. Such mechanical fasteners are involving two major components;

1 - A hook (2) which is joined to a substrate and,

2- A loop (12) as the receiving surface to engage hooks (2).

Methods of forming free formed hooks (2) require mainly synthetic polymeric materials (1 ) or nonwoven materials.

In recent years the most used method for production of hooks (2) is calendar type forming technology as shown in Fig. 1 , which includes extrusion and/or molding techniques. Furthermore, the process requires melting and feeding of synthetic polymeric material (1 ) through an extruder which requires additional energy. By this method, heat applied polymer melts and can easily be shaped but, it cannot withstand deformation. Furthermore, the polymer can easily lose polymer characteristics after applying too much heat and pressure. In addition, ultrasonic forming technology by using vibrational energy is showing some capabilities to produce hook (2) on polymeric materials (1 ) by following extruding and moulding technologies as shown in Fig. 2.

l According to this method, the applied process is more feasible comparing with the other method mentioned but, an additional power is applied on polymer to force it into the cavities (16) of the molding cylinder (4). That will require an additional source for continuous processes. Moreover applied pressure on polymer can deform the characteristics of polymer on production line. It has been known that high pressure is applied to shape the polymer which is softened by vibrational energy. Applying high pressure by shaping the polymer, can cause deformation of hooks (2) and reduce the bonding strength of the fastening system. Moreover the polymeric material (1 ) can lose its rigidity to be bonded directly on receiving surfaces.

These mentioned technologies require high energy consumption, therefore not favorable for high speed industrial production lines. Moreover products produced by known technologies have limited bonding strength comparing with the products of the present application produced by atmospheric plasma treatment method.

In the present invention, applied plasma treatment method to produce hook (2), is a softer technique comparing to other methods known in the art.

Production of hooks (2) as mechanical fasteners by using calendar type forming technology or ultrasonic bonding technology are well known in the prior art. Formed hooks (2) by state of the art technologies have low bonding strength on receiving surfaces, such as nonwoven surfaces. Moreover, said hooks (2) produced by known methods are deformed easily after repeated fastenings and lose their fastening capability. This shows that, the hooks (2) formed by known technologies cannot withstand mechanical forces by repetitive uses.

Hooks (2) obtained by calendar type forming technology or ultrasonic bonding technology have similar characteristics. The products, obtained by using known technologies in the prior art, have nearly same bonding capacity.

According to the present application the technologies mentioned above, treatment of polymer surfaces with plasma to form hooks (2) proves to be an improved method to shape the polymeric material (1 ) easily without deforming polymeric material (1 ). In addition bonding strength of hooks (2) on receiving surfaces can be improved. Plasma treatment method can be used as an improved method instead of known technologies.

According to the present invention applied atmospheric plasma treatment method will not require additional heat and high pressure on polymer surface to shape it. That is the significant technical advantage of atmospheric plasma plasma treatment over other technologies.

The processes of treatment of polymeric materials (1 ) to decrease their surface tension for providing adhesive action efficacy are known in the art. The plasma treatment process additionally increases the surface energy of the polymeric material (1 ) that will facilitate the shaping of the hooks (2), which enhances the bonding strength of the material to a receiving surface. The corona treatment is the simple plasma treatment method which is used for this purpose is generated by the application of high voltage to sharp electrode tips which forms plasma at the ends of the sharp tips. On the other hand, corona treatment requires high frequency power generator, high voltage energy. As an alternative method to corona treatment, vacuum plasma treatment can be applied on polymeric materials (1 ), but again a vacuum chamber reactor will be needed for processing, which will require high energy and special equipment.

Each of these methods have disadvantages such as requirement of high voltage and a vacuum reactor for processing plasma treatment which is not allowing a selectively treatment of the surfaces and not appropriate to use them at a high speed production lines.

In view of the above problems, for the production of hook (2) fasteners by means of treatment of synthetic polymeric materials (1 ) in the above mentioned object atmospheric plasma treatment seems to be a promising method in the art.

The atmospheric plasma treatment method is an alternative method of these treatment methods. Considering these disadvantages, atmospheric plasma treatment method can be seen as a feasible method for synthetic polymers based on their application area.

EP0603189 relates to a method of manufacturing prongs as a component of mechanical fastening system. The method requires additional heat to soften thermally sensitive material for processing. By the way heated material up to its melting point has reduced viscosity and easily shaped with rolls having prongs on its surface. But the method requires an additional energy source to heat the material which will not be a practical and economic method in continuous industry production lines. Moreover applied heat on polymer surface can easily damage the nature of the polymer. Additionally formed prongs on fastening system show nearly same characteristics with other prongs produced by known techniques in the prior art. There is not an improved characteristics of prongs are observed.

US2010180407 relates to a process for forming projections for use as hook (2) fastener in touch fastening system. In the process ultrasonic vibrational energy is used to extrude the substrate that will be processed to form hook (2). It is an alternative hook (2) forming process to known methods in prior art. Extruded substrate is shaped between a cylindrical mold and vibrational energy source by applying high amount of pressure. The application is directly related with production of hooks (2) but it does not show any improved characteristics of hook (2). Additionally applied pressure on polymer to shape it, will not be feasible to obtain high quality products.

There is a need of improving bonding strength and mechanical resistance of the hook (2) by using a different method other than known methods in the prior art.

In the present application, hook (2) fasteners on polymer surface are produced by using soft plasma operating on different feeding gases, such as; air, Ar, N 2 , etc... The plasma treatment of polymer surfaces is routinely used to enhance surface properties prior to bonding properties.

Despite of the fact that the plasma treatment improves the adhesion capacity of the polymers is known in the prior art, it is not used to produce hook (2) fasteners with improved bonding properties so far. Surprisingly, the inventor found out that atmospheric plasma treatment is appropriate to produce hooks (2) on polymer surface having improved bonding strength of hooks (2) on receiving surface such as; nonwoven materials based receiving surfaces.

This application provides the favourable plasma treatment conditions by using N 2 gases as a plasma source on the surface activation of synthetic polymer film or fiber.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a different method to produce hook (2) as fastener to improve bonding strength of hooks (2) on receiving surface wherein, atmospheric plasma treatment applied on the polymeric material (1 ) to form hooks (2) in the process.

It is another object of the present invention to provide atmospheric plasma treatment method on polymer surfaces to obtain mechanically resistant hooks (2). SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The surface of polymeric materials (1 ) has chemically inert and hard nature to be shaped and therefore exhibits poor bonding properties and there exists a need that shaping of the polymers is to be facilitated. It has been found that for successful application of polymeric materials to form structural parts, they need to have certain surface properties such as; high polarity or high surface energy.

This application is related to a method of producing hook (2) fasteners on a polymeric film or fiber material, fiber or web structure and discloses the effect of atmospheric plasma treatment on shaping the polymer surfaces. Moreover, this application shows that, formed hooks (2) have improved bonding properties on receiving surfaces.

It is an aim of the present invention to provide a method to produce hook (2) fasteners on synthetic polymeric material (1 ) such as; film, fiber or web structure having improved bonding strength of prongs (2) on receiving surface by treating the synthetic polymeric material (1 ) or fiber shaped as plurality of hooks (2) with atmospheric pressure plasma treatment method. It is also an aim of the present invention to use this method to obtain hooks (2) on polymeric film or fiber surface having improved mechanical resistance to force applied to attach the hooks (2) on receiving surface.

It is another aim of the present invention is to use this method to shape the synthetic polymeric film or fiber easily to form hooks (2) applying atmospheric plasma on polymeric surface to soften and shape it easily without deforming polymeric material (1 ) surface.

The present invention provides an appropriate treatment method for high speed production lines at low pressure without applying temperature on softened surface of polymer film or fiber to produce hooks (2). By the way improved bonding stregth of hooks (2) on receiving surface is obtained. Furthermore, improved mechanical resistance to force applied on bonding by increasing surface energy by using soft plasma treatment under source of N 2 gases.

In the present invention, hooks (2) are shaped easily by plasma treatment under source of N 2 gase by softening the synthetic polymeric film (1 ) or fiber.

In the present invention, there is no need to apply additional heat on polymer surfaces which may damage polymeric material (1 ) nature.

Furthermore, no necessity exists to apply additional increased pressure. By the present method the polymeric material (1 ) such as polymer films or web structures are not damaged on production lines. In the present invention the temperature is increased up to 160-240 °C by source of plasma. There is no need to apply additional heat to soften the polymeric material (1 ) such as film or fiber. The contact temperature of the plasma application device (14) with the polymeric film or fiber surface is between 3 to 25 °C. Furthermore, in the present method there is no need to apply additional heat to soften the polymeric material (1 ).

Another object of the present invention is to use gases such as; oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, helium, xenon, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide or a mixture thereof as plasma gases source.

Another object of the present invention is using nitrogen gas to obtain plasma. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 illustrates calendar type hook forming technology. Fig. 2 illustrates ultrasound type hook forming technology.

Fig. 3 illustrates the design of plasma treatment technology applied in the present invention. Fig. 4 illustrates different shape of hooks that can be produced according to present invention.

Fig. 5 is a plan view of a mechanism of hook and loop fastening system according to the present invention.

Fig. 6 schematically illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the process of the present invention.

Wherein;

1 : polymeric material (film or fiber) 2: hook, prong or fastener element 4: molding cylinder 6: free cylinder 8: idle cylinder

10: ultrasound (vibrational energy) source 12: loop 14: plasma application device 16: cavitiy of molding cylinder DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

Hook (2) fasteners have generally been formed by known technologies of, thermoplastic extrusion on calender type forming method or ultrasound method (10) using molding calendar (4) with a high pressure applied on the surface of the substrate polymeric material (1 ) to be shaped as fastening member such as; hooks (2) or projections. In said processes, there is a need of an additional source of heat or pressure to soften the polymeric material (1 ) to be shaped. Elevated temperatures applied on the polymer surface may destroy polymeric nature of the material. Furthermore, continuously applying of high pressure on the polymer surface to obtain the specified shape may deform the surface of the polymeric material (1 ). These two main problems become important for manufacturing of hook (2) fasteners. There is a need to develop an improved, softer method to produce hook (2) fasteners without deforming polymeric film or fiber material (1 ) and having high bonding performance.

It is often necessary to fasten a polymeric material (1 ) on to another polymeric material (1 ) for various kinds of applications. In order to achieve that, the surface of the polymer must be shaped like hook (2) to attach a receiving surface. Polymeric material (1 ) such as film or fiber is treated by different sources to obtain hook shaped structures. Polymeric materials (1 ) cannot be shaped as hooks (2) without heating or pressing directly or without lowering its surface tension by a treatment method. Polyethylene and polypropylene for example have very low surface energy. Various techniques are known in the art for treatment of these kinds of surface layers. With the present invention an improved method is applied for treatment of polymer surfaces. By following this improved method, mechanically resistant hooks (2), having improved bonding capacity on the receiving surface, are produced.

The known treatment processes, more particularly the process comprising a plasma treatment, are frequently employed directly on the surfaces of polymer films, sheets, webs or other substrates. The plasma treatment method can also be employed on such kind of substrates.

The plasma is described in more detail in the literature which is a matter that exists in the form of ions and electrons. Basically, it is a gas that's been charged electrically with freely moving electrons in both the negative and positive state. Since plasma consists of electrons, molecules or neutral gas atoms, positive ions, UV light along with excited gas molecules and atoms, it carries a good amount of internal energy. Surfaces in contact with the gas plasma are bombarded by these energetic species and their energy is transferred from the plasma to the solid. These energy transfers are dissipated within the solid by a variety of chemical and physical processes to result in a unique type of surface modification that reacts with surfaces in depths from several hundred angstroms to 10 prm without changing the bulk properties of the material which can be called as a three dimensional surface modification. Plasma treatment, on the other hand, as a dry and eco-friendly technology, is offering an attractive alternative to add new functionalities such as water repellence, long- term hydrophilicity, adhesion strength, mechanical, electrical and antibacterial properties as well as biocompatibility due to the nano-scaled modification on textiles and fibers. At the same time, the bulk properties as well as the touch of the textiles remain unaffected.

Plasma processes can be grouped into two main classes as low density and high density, according to their electron temperature versus electron density. There are different surface modification application techniques with plasma which are based on these classes such as; low pressure and atmospheric plasma. However, low pressure plasma is generated in closed vacuum chamber, for that reason it does not have inline production capability and also, a bigger pump is required to reach the necessary process pressure. The cold plasma method also requires a vacuum reactor, high temperature and high energy levels for the application. Due to the requirement of a vacuum chamber, they are not appropriate for inline production adaptation and also have high energy and temperature requirement. As such its use is restricted and disadvantageous for the treatment of polymer nonwoven surfaces inline.

However, surprisingly, atmospheric pressure plasma method has not been applied to date on synthetic polymer film or fiber to produce hooks (2) as fastening member of an absorbent article. In the present invention it is clearly stated that, hooks (2) have been produced by applying soft atmospheric plasma treatment on polymer film or fiber surface with improved bonding strength on receiving surface.

Atmospheric pressure plasma as the choice of the present inventors has an important advantage such as no reaction vessel is needed to ensure the maintenance of a pressure level thereby it can be integrated in the production line which is the aim of the present inventor. Bonding capacity of a polymer film or fiber can be improved by implementing atmospheric pressure plasma method with ease of handling and cost saving. The synthetic polymer films or fibers are modified to be widely used in hygiene articles such as; disposable articles, diapers, feminine care products, wipes, etc. because of its beneficial properties and low cost ratios. The modified polymer film or fiber materials can be used in any part of disposable articles such as; hook fasteners, mini tapes or elastic laminate parts.

A fastening element for an absorbent article has a base sheet configured by a nonwoven fabric material and a hook (2) sheet in which a plurality of engagement hooks are provided. The main problems of shaped synthetic polymeric materials (1 ) used as a part of fastening system for absorbent articles are low bonding strength on the receiving surface that the hook (2) fasteners are attached on. However, known technologies can be applied on polymer film or fiber to form hooks (2), surface treatment by atmospheric plasma treatment might have superior properties to improve hook's (2) bonding strength on receiving surfaces besides having improved mechanical resistance.

A typical fastening system for use with absorbent articles may have a fastening element which is called as hooks (2) and a landing member which is named as receiving surface in the present invention also known as a landing zone that comprises loop (12) structures.

In use, the fastening element having hooks (2) on, may be bonded to the landing member, which is stated as refastenable system which may be provided with, e.g., hooks (2) on the fastening tape that releasably engage loops (12) disposed on the landing member, or vice versa. The problem is in some cases the hooks (2) cannot be bonded on the receiving surface perfectly which are felt by the user and caregiver not to fit. Therefore the users have to refasten article more than two or three times which will deform the physical structure of hooks (2) and loops (12).

It has been found that, an improved and simple method can be applied on the polymer surface by applying a soft plasma source to produce hooks (2) having improved properties comparing with the known hooks (2) that are produced by known techniques.

The present invention is described in detail in the following exemplary embodiments; In one exemplary embodiment, the present invention relates to a method of forming hooks (2) on polymeric material (1 ) surface by applying atmospheric plasma treatment.

In another exemplary embodiment, the present invention is directed to an apparatus for forming hooks (2) on polymeric material (1 ) comprising a molding roll cylinder (4), a plasma application device (14), a free rolling cylinder and an idle cylinder (8) wherein the molding cylinder (4) comprising cavities (16) having different shapes, that shapes form hooks (2) .

In one exemplary embodiment, an atmospheric plasma application device (14) such as a gase source, can be placed in front of the rolling cylinders as shown in Fig. 3. This may be followed with a molding cylinder (4) roll having plurality of cavities (16), wherein the cavities (16) have shape as like hooks (2) to form fastening members as shown in Fig. 3.

In another exemplary embodiment, the atmospheric plasma application device (14) can be placed under the molding cylinder (4) or can be attached inside of the molding cylinder (4).

In one exemplary embodiment, said cavities (16) may have any shape to form fastening members such as; hooks, mushrooms, curved pins or pins having cross, oval, rectangular shape and combinations thereof as some of the examples are shown in Fig 4.

In another exemplary embodiment, a synthetic polymeric material (1 ) is provided to be treated by atmospheric plasma and pass through under the plasma application device (14) as shown in Fig. 3.

In a further exemplary embodiment, a free cylinder (6) roll is provided under the molding cylinder (4) roll to pass the treated polymeric material (1 ) by atmospheric plasma treatment, through the interval between said molding cylinder roll (4) and free cylinder (6) as shown in Fig. 3.

In another exemplary embodiment, an idle cylinder roll (8) is provided upon the molding cylinder roll (4) to continue the rolling process of hooks (2) formed on polymer film material or fiber as shown in Fig. 3.

The improved performance of the formed hooks (2) by atmospheric plasma technique can clearly be seen by bonding hook (2) fasteners on receiving surfaces. As used herein, the term "absorbent article" refers to devices which absorb and contain body exudates, and, more specifically, refers to devices which are placed against or in proximity to the body of the wearer to absorb and contain the various exudates discharged from the body. As used herein, the term "synthetic polymer nonwoven material" may include, but not limited to film, web, laminate or nonwoven based structures for use in disposable articles.

As used herein, the "polymeric material" more specifically refers to the material that is able to be used as fastening member such as films, fibers, webs, nonwoven structures or polymer surfaces that are feasible for the plasma treatment process.

As used polymeric material (1 ) can be made from various kinds of polymers such as; thermoplastic and/or thermoset polymer structures which can be but not limited to, polyolefin (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene and the like); polyamides

(e.g. nylon 6, nylon 6/6, nylon 10, nylon 12 and the like); polyesters (e.g. polyethylene terephtlate, polybuthylene terephthalate, polylactic acid and the like); polycarbonate; polystyrene; thermoplastic elastomers; vinyl polymers; polyurethane; as well as blends and copolymers thereof, and any additives or processing aids known in the art. Any of these materials can be used to form polymer films or fiber web articles, and any combination of any of these materials can be used to form one or more of any kind of polymer structures. The polymer film material can be more specifically polypropylene with any additives or processing aids known in the prior art.

The polymer fiber material can be more specifically polypropylene nonwoven fiber with any additives or processing aids known in the prior art.

The term "hooks (2) as fastening element" as used herein, refers to male fastening elements that include prongs (2) shaped in any form to engage with or without loop (12) engaging heads.

The term "receiving surface" as used herein, refers to a surface that hook (2) fasteners engage with or without loop (12) engaging heads, wherein the receiving surfaces can be a web or nonwoven material made up of various natural and/or synthetic materials, more preferably made up of polypropylene structures. By this way, the hooks (2) can be bonded on the surface of receiving material.

The method of this invention is used for producing hooks (2) on polymeric material (1 ) wherein, the hooks (2) have improved bonding strength on to a receiving surface called as loop (12) structures.

The method used in the present invention can be used in high speed production lines by applying atmospheric plasma on the surface of synthetic polymer nonwoven material as a treatment method to increase the polymer surface's energy before shaping it as hooks (2).

A single jet atmospheric plasma system with product code PFW10 which has 16-25 kHz working frequency and 3-5 kV electrode volts with up to 900 m/min relative speed to surface is supplied from Plasmatreat Company. Since the production speed of a fastening system for an economically feasible production line is preferably between 50 and 250 meters/minutes (m/min), most preferably 225 m/min, atmospheric pressure plasma equipment having adjustable speed is the most convenient system for inline application for the mentioned object.

The most preferred embodiment of the invention is the method that said single jet plasma electrode is integrated in line by keeping preferably between 2-15 millimeters, most preferably 4 milllimeters distance between a jet front and the substrate material and the working frequency is preferred to be at least 16 kHz. Since the plasma is passed through from the electrode the temperature of it is increasing up to 160-240 °C. The contact temperature with the fabric is 0-50 °C, most preferably 3-25 °C which makes the atmospheric pressure plasma the most suitable method for the treatment of synthetic polymeric film and nonwoven materials.

In the method of the present invention air, oxygen, hydrogen, argon, nitrogen, helium, xenon, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide or a mixture of two kinds or more may be used. Preferably air or nitrogen is used; most preferably nitrogen is used to obtain plasma based on its convenience to hygiene industry. It also gives less damage to the surface of the polymeric materials (1 ). The manufacturing of the fastener elements named as hooks (2) can be best understood by reference to the figures wherein;

Fig. 1 illustrates the calendar type hook (2) forming process that follows by applying required amount of pressure to shape the polymer film or fiber.

Fig. 2 illustrates the ultrasound forming type of hook (2) forming process that is followed by using ultrasound vibrations (10) to soften the polymeric material (1 ) to shape with the help of pressure and heat. The process of manufacturing of hooks (2) according to the present invention can be best understood by reference to the figures wherein;

Fig. 3 illustrates the design of plasma treatment technology Fig. 4 illustrates different shapes of hooks (2) that can be produced by using molding cylinder (4) having specifically shaped cavities (16) according to the present invention.

Fig. 5 illustrates the mechanism of the hook (2) and loop (12) fastening. As can be seen from the figure, the interlocking part of the hook (2) is attached into the loop (12).

Fig.6 illustrates a schematic view of a process of manufacturing of hooks (2) according to the present invention.

In the embodiment illustrated in Fig.3 it has been shown that, N 2 gase is applied on the surface of the polymeric material (1 ).

EXAMPLE

Production of Hook as Fastening Element by Plasma Treatment of Polymer Film or Fiber Surface

A method of forming hooks (2) on polymeric material (1 ) by applying atmospheric plasma source on polymer according to present invention comprising the steps explained below; i- A thermoplastic polymeric film or fiber is provided to be treated in the process, ii- Polymeric film or fiber is positioned between the molding cylinder (4) and the free cylinder (6), iii- Atmospheric plasma application device (14) is placed in front of the molding cylinder (4) to be able to treat polymeric film or fiber surface, iv- Polymeric film or fiber surface is treated and softened by applying nitrogen gase plasma from 4 mm distance to the surface of the polymer film or fiber without applying any additional heat or pressure, v- The treated polymer film or fiber passes through the interval of molding cylinder (4) and the free cylinder (6), vi- The treated polymer film or fiber is shaped as hooks (2) while passing through the cavities (16) of the mold by rotating rolls of the mold, vii- Continuously, the molding cylinder (4) rotates and the polymeric film or fiber with formed hooks (2) on it, passes through the idle cylinder (8), viii- Formed hooks (2) on polymeric film or fiber is cooled and solidified while passing through the idle cylinder (8).