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The Surface Analyst™ Instantly Measures Contact Angle to Determine the Potential Adhesive Strength of Bonds

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Handheld Solution for Verifying Surface Cleanliness

The Surface Analyst™ is an innovative handheld solution for use in the lab and on the factory floor. It reduces waste, rework, and recalls when poorly prepared substrate surfaces lead to bonding, coating, sealing, painting, or printing failure.

Using contact angle measurement, the Surface Analyst measures the cleanliness level of surfaces and determines how ready it is to accept the adhesive, coating, print or paint. Developed and manufactured by Brighton Science, it is a fast, easy, accurate, and non-destructive tool for manufacturers with critical surface requirements. The Surface Analyst replaces legacy methods such as dyne and water break tests.

low contact angle

 

Figure 1: Water drop "wetting out," demonstrating a low contact angle and a clean surface.

high contact angle

Figure 2: Water drop beading up, demonstrating a high contact angle and a contaminated surface.

Measuring Contact Angle to Determine Surface Cleanliness

The Surface Analyst deposits a highly purified drop of water on the surface. In two seconds, it measures the contact angle and in turn, determines the cleanliness level of a substrate.

When a surface is clean, it emits high energy, and water--as a high energy molecule--spreads out on the surface, in attraction to other high energy molecules (Figure 1). A contaminated surface emits low energy and will cause water to bead up in attraction to itself rather than the low energy surface molecules (Figure 2).

By knowing the volume and area of a drop of water, the contact angle of the water against a given surface can be determined. The larger the contact angle, the more the water beads up on the surface – and therefore the lower the energy level of the surface.

Ensuring a Contaminant Free Surface and a Strong Bond

When adhering, the surface requires a level of cleanliness in order to produce strong, reliable bonds. Ensuring surface condition and consistency is a vital component for guaranteeing success in sealing, coating, bonding, painting, printing or cleaning.  All surfaces contaminate upon exposure, and the presence of contaminants is inevitable. But studying and comprehending the relationship between a contaminant structure and the effects it can have on a bond can help develop more productive monitoring procedures for surface preparation processes, and can also effect the development of stronger adhesives and coating formulations.

Outdated evaluation methods such as dyne and water break are destructive and do not provide reliable, precise, quantifiable surface measurements. The Surface Analyst exemplifies these traits on the factory floor, in seconds.

Brighton Science (formerly BTG Labs), a Materials Science-based technology company, focuses on understanding, quantifying, and controlling surface critical processes in manufacturing. Brighton Science has developed a versatile suite of Surface Analyst technology that is widely used in the aerospace, automotive, electronic, medical device, consumer product industries. 

To learn how your business can leverage surface intelligence and contact angle data to innovate, optimize and solve problems, download our free eBook, "Manufacturer's Roadmap to Eliminating Adhesion Issues in Production."

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