Flame Treatment For Automotive Industry

In 1984, FIAT introduced polypropylene (PP) bumpers for the first time, due to the low costs of such material named TPO (PP + EPDM). The introduction of PP brought about a new challenge: how can surface adhesion be improved for painting, given that PP is a non-polar material and consequently has a low wettability surface that does not lend itself to being painted?

Ever since that time, the flaming treatment introduced by EsseCI has been recognised as the only process able to achieve certain results. Subsequently, FIAT and many other companies have followed suit as EsseCi’s SURFACE FLAME TREATMENT became the most utilised process in painting.

Some experiments have been undertaken throughout Europe and the USA using special primers or promoters that do not require flaming. When we compare the different treatment methods, we must look at certain critical factors:

  • High-level results
  • Fast production
  • Low costs
  • Elevated safety standards
Surface Flame Treatment: High-level Results

Many years of experiences and numerous applications on a range of materials have proven that flaming treatment can reach very high levels that far exceed 46-48 dyne/cm. It has even been confirmed that water-based paints can be used to reduce environmental pollution. Yet whilst many tests effectuated on materials only with primer or promoter have shown acceptable adhesion, it is still lower than flaming.

Surface Flame Treatment: Elevated safety standards

The flaming method is absolutely environmentally friendly and 100% safe for humans. No free gas is present in the work area in which the flaming set-up is installed. The many interlocking safety systems have meant that even after all these years in operation on the market, no product failure or personal injury has occurred.

Using a primer or a promoter, on the other hand, requires a specific and expensive exhaust system to remove volatile residues that are dangerous not only for the equipment but especially for the operators. This all goes to show that flame treatment is the best way to increase surface adhesion before plastic coating.

Surface Flame Treatment: Fast production

Flame treatment is very fast—there are installations in which a bumper can be treated in less than 40 seconds when using a robot or in under 10 seconds with a mechanical reciprocator. Small parts are treated in 1 second.

Surface Flame Treatment: Low costs

Investment costs are important yet it is the production costs that count the most. A well-known car producer in Brazil tested the following systems in their painting lines:

  • Flaming
  • Special primers
  • Promoters

The results showed that:

  • After 12 months the production costs when using the special primer and promoter was R$ 1.000.000 higher than when using flaming system!
  • This amount equals the cost of purchasing 20 flaming systems per year!!
  • which offer the same or better results!
Automotive Plant

The flaming treatment equipment is comprised of a main control unit (air/gas mixture generator) complete with all safety mechanisms, control systems and a special combustion analyser to ensure the best flame composition. The number of flaming stations utilised depends on the complexity of the surfaces, the quantity of pieces to be treated and the operating speed.

Each station has its own safety and control systems and comes with burners having a customised length and individual flame variation system. Special flexible hoses are placed on the robot arm to connect the burner to the mixture generator. A special type of burner with flame detector and ignition electrode is used, whilst a programmable controller oversees all operations.

EsseCi Flame Treatment for Autotive Industry


Manual application


  • The combustible mixture is produced by the machine
  • The gas pressure value avails of the gas distributed at low pressure by the public mains
  • It is equipped with independent controls to adjust the fuel mixture flow and air/gas ratio
  • The generator incorporates with a small electric control panel


  • Range mixture flow 3 ÷ 15m3/h
  • Max. Air Pressure 6bar
  • Gas inlet pressure 30mbar
  • Max gas flow 0.5 m3/h (methane) 0.2 m3/h (LPG)
  • Power electric 200÷240V 50÷60Hz 20W
  • Dimensions LxHxD 155x225x170 mm
  • Weight 6kg


Manual and automatic application


  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Designed to work with any type of gas
  • Fitted with an automatic ignition and a continuous flame detection
  • The system treats plastic parts, also with a complex geometry, thanks to the flame length adjustment
  • Adjustable analogous or multi-level mixture flow settings



Automatic application


  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Designed to work with any type of gas
  • Fitted with a calorimetric system (Jonoflame) to adjust mixture composition and continuous flame detection
  • Equipped with operator panel, process parameters reading and alarms
  • Adjustable analogous or multi-level mixture flow settings


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