TREATMENT ARRANGEMENT, METHOD FOR PRODUCING A TREATMENT ARRANGEMENT
1. A treatment arrangement for treating a surface, comprising:
- a planar electrode arrangement to which an electric voltage can be supplied;
a planar shielding layer comprising an insulating plastic which at least partially encloses the electrode arrangement; and
a boundary layer between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer,wherein the electrode arrangement is formed from a pourable plastic with conductive additives,wherein in a region of the boundary layer between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer, the plastic of the electrode arrangement and the insulating plastic of the shielding layer are connected to one another by a material-to-material joint.
In a treatment arrangement for treating a surface, with a planar electrode array (2, 2′), to which an electrical voltage can be fed, and with a planar shielding layer (1) which is made of an insulating plastic and which at least partially surrounds the electrode array (2, 2′), a reliable and fixed connection between electrode array (2, 2′) and shielding layer (1) is achieved by the fact that the electrode array (2, 2′) is made of a pourable plastic provided with conductive additives and that, in the region of a boundary layer (22) between electrode array (2, 2′) and shielding layer (1), the plastics of the electrode array (2, 2′) and of the shielding layer (1) are connected to each other by material bonding.
- 1. A treatment arrangement for treating a surface, comprising:
a planar electrode arrangement to which an electric voltage can be supplied; a planar shielding layer comprising an insulating plastic which at least partially encloses the electrode arrangement; and a boundary layer between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer, wherein the electrode arrangement is formed from a pourable plastic with conductive additives, wherein in a region of the boundary layer between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer, the plastic of the electrode arrangement and the insulating plastic of the shielding layer are connected to one another by a material-to-material joint.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
The invention relates to a treatment arrangement for treating a surface, comprising a planar electrode arrangement, to which an electric voltage can be supplied, and a planar shielding layer consisting of an insulating plastic, which at least partially encloses the electrode arrangement.
The invention furthermore relates to a treatment device comprising such a treatment arrangement and a method for producing a treatment arrangement of the mentioned type.
Various treatment arrangements are known, using which a surface can be treated under the action of electrical voltages. These include treatment arrangements in which a current is introduced directly into the surface to be treated. The shielding layer has the function in this case of avoiding touching of the electrode by an operator.
Furthermore, performing inductive heating of the surface to be treated by means of the electrode is known. In this case, the shielding layer is used to insulate the electrode in relation to the surface to be treated, to prevent a direct current introduction and possibly the formation of flashover sparks.
In one preferred embodiment of the treatment arrangement according to the invention, it is designed as a plasma treatment device and is used to build up a high-voltage field by means of the electrode arrangement by ionizing an air space or gas space between the treatment arrangement and the surface to be treated to form a plasma, and therefore a plasma treatment of the surface known per se takes place. In this case, in the scope of the present invention, the electrode arrangement can be connected to a pole of an electric voltage and the surface to be treated can form a counter electrode. However, it is also possible to form the electrode arrangement from at least two electrodes, which are connected to different poles of an electric voltage, and therefore an electric field is built up between the electrodes, using which, for example, air can be ionized to form a plasma.
The surface to be treated can be a material which is prepared on its surface by the treatment, for example, a plasma treatment, for the purpose of being provided with a layer, for example, a protective layer. The treatment of the surface is used for the purpose of improving the adhesion of the layer like a primer treatment. Such treatments come into consideration for materials made of plastic, metal, wood, or the like.
One preferred application in the scope of the invention is the treatment of human or animal skin as the surface to be treated. In particular for the formation of a plasma, advantageous effects on the skin surface have been proven. In particular, the plasma treatment has a disinfecting, i.e., germ-killing effect. Designing a treatment arrangement for a plasma treatment in the form of a wound dressing is therefore known. The layer of the treatment arrangement facing toward the wound can be formed in this case from silicone, which is known to be skin-friendly and skin-compatible and is suitable as an insulating layer. One material coming into consideration is, for example, the silicone gel SILPURAN® from Wacker Chemie AG, Burghausen, Germany. This two-component silicone gel crosslinks to form a soft silicone layer which has a certain stickiness and therefore adheres to the skin.
Forms of such treatment arrangements coming into consideration are known, for ex ample, from DE 10 2014 013 716 A1 and are known for the treatment of skin and/or of wounds using a dielectric barrier plasma. In this case, a metallic electrode is completely embedded in a dielectric material, which can be a silicone. To enable the drainage of wound secretions, the dielectric material can be provided with passage openings, through which wound secretions can pass from the wound side of the treatment arrangement to the distal side, where it can be absorbed by an absorption material, for example. The embedded electrode has to be provided in this case with corresponding passage openings, the diameter of which is larger, however, than the diameter of the passage openings in the dielectric material, and therefore the dielectric material also reliably covers the electrode in the region of the channels formed by the passage openings. The electrode embedded in the dielectric material is formed planar, flexible, and monopolar in this case, and therefore the body associated with the skin surface functions as the counter electrode. The counter electrode can be grounded in this case or act as a “floating electrode”. The construction of the known treatment arrangements has proven itself, since both the dielectric material and also the electrode itself can be formed as flexible and therefore the entire treatment arrangement is suitable for adapting itself to the possibly irregular shape of a body part and thus carrying out the treatment of an intact skin surface or a wound with defined distance relationships and thus reproducible results.
The present invention is based on the object of simplifying the construction of a treatment arrangement of the type mentioned at the outset and making it even more reliable.
To achieve this object, a treatment arrangement of the type mentioned at the outset is characterized according to the invention in that the electrode arrangement consists of a pourable plastic provided with conductive additives, and in that, in the region of a boundary layer between electrode arrangement and shielding layer, the plastics of the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer are connected to one another by material-to-material joint.
In the treatment arrangement according to the invention, an electrode at least partially enclosed, in particular completely embedded, by the dielectric plastic layer is thus not a metallic electrode, but rather the electrode is itself formed from a suitable plastic, which is made conductive by additives. Such electrodes are known per se. According to the invention, they are used to form the treatment arrangement, in order to thus enable a material-to-material joined connection between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer, which results due to the plastics themselves and does not have an additional adhesive layer at the boundary layer between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer. Electrode arrangement and shielding layer can thus be formed as a quasi-unified material and thus ensure a high level of security against delamination of the electrode arrangement from the shielding layer. This is significant in particular if the treatment arrangement is advantageously flexible and enables strong bends, to be able to adapt itself even to difficult body parts, i.e., for example, be able to wrap around a wrist.
The material-to-material joined connection according to the invention between the plastic of the electrode arrangement and the plastic of the shielding layer takes place after mixing of these plastics at least in the region of the boundary layer in a simple manner when the plastics jointly cure and/or crosslink at least in this region. In a further preferred embodiment, chemically identical plastics are used for the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer, which may thus be mixed well. For the electrode arrangement, the plastic is solely provided with the conductive additives in this case, which can be metallic particles, for example, microparticles or nanoparticles, graphite powder, inter alia.
Alternatively, it is possible to dispense with the mixing of the plastics and to produce the positive material joint in that the plastics of electrode arrangement and shielding layer, which abut one another in the boundary layer, crosslink with one another. This can take place in that a first of the plastics is initially only partially crosslinked and is further crosslinked with the second of the plastics during the crosslinking thereof in the meaning of the original crosslinking. In another embodiment, the first of the plastics can also be completely crosslinked if it has functionally crosslinkable peripheral groups, which, upon the supply of the non-crosslinked second of the plastics, during the crosslinking thereof, result in secondary crosslinking between the first plastic and the second plastic.
In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the electrode arrangement is enclosed on all sides by the shielding layer. This is advantageous in particular if a high voltage is supplied to the electrode, as is the case for the treatment using a dielectric barrier plasma in one preferred embodiment of the invention.
In this configuration, it is possible to lead an electrically conductive terminal of the electrode arrangement out of the shielding layer. Alternatively, it is possible to form the electrode arrangement, for example, having a terminal tongue, which is also enclosed by the shielding layer, and to supply the electric voltage using a contact arrangement, which pierces the shielding layer and thus establishes the contact to the electrode arrangement. Such contacting using a self-cutting contact is known, for example, from EP 2 723 447 B1.
It can also be expedient for the treatment arrangement according to the invention if the shielding layer is profiled on the treatment side to form application faces, between which the air intermediate spaces exist to form the plasma upon abutment of the treatment arrangement to the surface to be treated. In this case, the profile can be irregular or regular. A profile in the form of round nubs is known from EP 2 515 997 A1; also a profile in the form of chambers open on one side is known from DE 10 2013 019 057 A1, which are formed on the treatment side of the shielding layer and can optionally be filled with conditioning or healing substances.
For the application as a wound treatment arrangement, it is expedient if a wound dressing surface is formed on the treatment side. This can be formed by the suitable material of the shielding layer itself or can be additionally applied on the treatment side of the shielding layer.
In particular silicones in any form, preferably in the form of silicone gels, are suitable for the shielding layer and the electrode arrangement.
In particular for the purpose of wound care, an embodiment of the treatment arrangement according to the invention is suitable in which the shielding layer has sections protruding beyond the area of the electrode, which are formed as adhesive toward the surface to be treated. The adhesive property of a silicone gel itself can possibly be utilized for this purpose. In this case, the silicone layer can already cause the fastening of the entire arrangement on the skin in the surroundings of the wound, and therefore possibly a secondary bandage in addition to the treatment arrangement can be omitted.
A monopolar electrode can be used as the electrode arrangement of a treatment arrangement according to the invention if the surface to be treated or the body located behind it functions as the counter electrode. Alternatively, the electrode arrangement can be formed as at least bipolar, wherein the two poles are connected to the poles of a voltage supply. The electrodes are then expediently formed and positioned such that the electrode of one pole extends close and parallel to the electrode of the other pole over the area of the treatment arrangement in many regions, and therefore a spatial electrical field suitable for plasma formation arises between these two poles. In order that the electric field is distributed over the area and is not only locally present, the two electrode poles are preferably formed in strips and led parallel or antiparallel over the area of the treatment arrangement, Meandering shapes, spiral courses, comb-shaped structures, etc. are suitable for this purpose.
Using a treatment arrangement according to the invention, a treatment device is preferably formed, which is formed and positioned to change a direct contact of the electrode arrangement and the surface to be treated. As already explained, in particular for a dielectric barrier plasma treatment, embedding the electrode arrangement completely in the electrical shielding layer can suggest itself.
The production of the material bond according to the invention between the plastic of the electrode arrangement and the plastic of the shielding layer is achieved in that, at least in the region of a boundary surface between the electrode arrangement and the shielding layer, the plastics are mixed with one another in a liquid state and jointly cured and/or crosslinked. In this manner, the material bond is caused by a uniform matrix structure or a gradual transition from one matrix structure to the other matrix structure.
It is entirely possible to prefinish the electrode arrangement and/or the shielding layer and partially or entirely crosslink or cure them and subsequently liquefy or at least swell them in the region of a boundary surface, to thus achieve common curing and/or crosslinking in this region.
However, it is preferable for at least one layer of the shielding layer and then the plastic of the electrode arrangement provided with the conductive additives, each in the liquid state, to initially be introduced into a casting mold, such that mixing results in the boundary region between the plastics, and subsequently the plastics are jointly cured and/or crosslinked by cooling. In this case, the possible crosslinking, for example, in the case of a silicone gel, can be carried out by a crosslinking component, which results in the crosslinking in a temperature-dependent or temperature-independent manner.
The mixing of the plastics in the boundary region can be dispensed with in the case of the crosslinking of the plastics with one another. For this purpose, it can be provided that the electrode arrangement or the shielding layer is firstly molded and partially crosslinked using the plastic. The other plastic can then be injected into a mold, for example, an injection mold, and caused to crosslink, wherein the second plastic is selected such that the first plastic, which is initially only partially crosslinked, is further crosslinked at the same time.
Alternatively thereto, it is possible to crosslink the first plastic practically completely and at the same time to provide it with functional, crosslinkable groups. In this case, the first plastic can be laid as a pre-molded part in an injection mold, using which the molding of the second plastic is carried out, which is supplied in the non-crosslinked liquid state. The second plastic is selected in this case such that it produces a secondary crosslinking with the crosslinkable groups of the first plastic part. In particular in the case of silicones, this is possible by OH groups, which enable a polycondensation reaction with cleavage of water. Another example results with remaining reactive SiH groups, which enable additive crosslinking with reactive vinyl groups of the other silicone plastic. However, ail other polymerization reactions are also suitable for the secondary crosslinking.
The invention will be explained in greater detail hereafter on the basis of exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawing. In the figures:
As may be seen from
The dielectric shielding layer 1 is provided in one piece with sections 10, which extend on all sides with the exception of the terminal tongue 3 beyond the electrode arrangement 2 and the shielding layer 1 embedding the electrode arrangement 2 and are formed adhesive on the lower side 11 thereof, such that the treatment arrangement can be fastened on the skin of a body part like a self-adhesive bandage using the sections 10 which are adhesive on the lower side 11.
It may also be seen from
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The second exemplary embodiment illustrated in
The exemplary embodiment illustrated in
The view from below according to
However, it is also possible to use various plastics for the electrode arrangements 2, 2′ and the shielding layers 1 in the scope of the invention, which may be crosslinked with one another either directly with one another or via a secondary crosslinking in the region of the boundary layer 22.