The setup I described above was indeed a bit ineffective with corona power of 1 W.
Now I made a new one with two neon tube transformers (3 kV 50 mA!) in series. Now I see the corona discharge in dark and AHHH, the smell of ozone!! It takes 50 mA at 6 kV, that is 300 watts of power! I'll test subbing with this one soon - as soon as I add a rectifier and capacitors to make DC from this.
Disclaimer: The previous was quite innocent one compared to this -- this is really a lethal weapon. Don't do this at home like me if you are not sure what you are doing! .
I have a lot of experience gluing coroplast, which is a low-surface energy plastic that is really hard to glue, especially to itself. In order for most glues to work, the surface has to be prepared, or it will stick not at all. Scrubbing with scotchbrite pads has worked somewhat in the past, but a quick pass with a propane torch seems to make it work very well with CA glues, like magic. I wonder if you could prepare the surface with a quick pass of a flame or a low-energy plasma discharge.
Yes, now this unit gives a bright blue glow you can see even room lights on. And a huge SSSSSHHHHHHH and ozone that gives you a headache in a few seconds! It takes about 4 mA @ 18 kV = 72 W.
I just coated a quick test with gelatin & color & glyoxal & surfactant. Let's see results tomorrow.
Do you remember the film base giving you very uncomfortable static discharges / jolts after this treatment? This can be a problem since it probably will expose film. And I have to either use protective gloves or invent new swear words. If the static electricity goes off by just waiting, then it's fine if I handle freshly coated film carefully to avoid discharges.