Plasma is an ionized gas with unique properties. Plasma appears for example in lightnings or fire and it is 99 per cents of space matter. The plasma pencil is the invention of Brno Masaryk University. A development of this project began in 1996. The plasma pencil changes absorption abilities, repairs defects or sterilizes surfaces. It may be used for cutting tiles, but also for surgical operations. It can operate at various temperatures, also for removing corrosion. At high temperatures plasma is able to create ornaments, e.g. on glaze or wood or etch surfaces. Brno scientists also think, it could be used in surgery to remove tumours.
The special pencil has a great future also in industry, for instance varnish applied to a plasma-treated surface creates a finer structure, is more uniform. In case of metal, plasma – before applying varnish – enables to bend and shape material without damaging the varnish. This technology will be successfully used in the automotive industry in the future. A simple equipment including a hollow electrode with a narrow capillary is involved which make a plasma nozzle, through which gas – argon or argon with an admixture - flow. On material surface a nanolayer with water-repulsive effects is formed. Altogether 15 scientists and students cooperate in the project at present. The research has cost about 12 mill. CZK since its beginning.
The chief of the development team Miloš Klíma said that the technology applied now features a higher mechanical resistance than three years ago, when the invention was presented to the public. Another development will last some more months. Scientists look, however, for an investor at the fair who would be interested in the production of first prototypes.
In 2009, new utilization of a plasma pencil was presented, at the Wood-TEC Fair, by the development team from the Brno colleges. They improved effects of a special material treatment which ensures an absolute non-wettability of surfaces. The pencil can be used for wood and iron. Plasma is more resistant to mechanical wear than classical methods.