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Brighton Science Blog
Topic: Surface Preparation

1 minute read

Guess the Contact Angle: Abraded Aluminum

As part of the Guess the Contact Angle series, we have brought you a new video that demonstrates how the surface quality of a material changes based on common surface preparation processes. In this video, we’ll be using the same piece of aluminum, but now we’ll see what happens when we abrade...

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1 minute read

Guess the Contact Angle: IPA Wiped Aluminum

As part of the Guess the Contact Angle series, we have brought you a new video that highlights best practices when cleaning material surfaces with IPA wipes and we will ask you to "guess" the contact angle measurement after the surface has been cleaned.   The contact angle featured in this demo...

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4 minute read

How Manufacturers Can Optimize the Effectiveness of Plasma Activation

In last week’s blog post, Using Plasma for Surface Cleaning and Activation Rose Roberts, Ph.D., Senior Custom Applications and Materials Engineer, discussed how to use plasma for the dual purposes of cleaning critical surfaces and activating critical surfaces as they are prepared for bonding,...

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2 minute read

Using Plasma for Surface Cleaning and Activation

Today’s blog post is the first of a two-part series focusing on plasma. In today’s post, with the help of Rose Roberts, Ph.D., Senior Custom Applications and Materials Engineer, we are going to review plasma basics and discuss how plasma can be used for both cleaning and surface activation. We...

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5 minute read

Surface Quality Measurements Enable Plating and Coating Chemistry Suppliers to Guarantee Quality to Their Customers

Automotive supply chains are complex. Nearly 78 million vehicles were manufactured in 2020. Each vehicle may have upwards of 30,000 individual parts. Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need to manage billions of parts annually. If any of these parts fail, vehicle performance is...

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3 minute read

Quantifying the Effectiveness of High Volume Metal Cleaning in Fresh and Aged Baths

In today’s video we will show you how to quantify the surface quality of metals when using fresh and aged baths. We will demonstrate how Water Contact Angle (WCA) measurements can provide feedback in less than two seconds on the effectiveness of your cleaning process and will enable you to...

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5 minute read

What Are Material Handling Best Practices to Keep Surfaces Clean?

Does your business, or your customer’s business, deal with adhesion – either in the form of bonding, coating, sealing, printing or painting? Given that these processes may be occurring either upstream or downstream, does everyone in your organization share a common understanding and appreciation...

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1 minute read

Guess the Contact Angle

In today’s blog post, we are going to have a bit of fun using video to learn more about contact angles. We will show you a contact angle and will ask you to “guess” the contact angle measurement.  The contact angle featured in this demo is formed by a water droplet deposited on a piece of ‘as...

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6 minute read

What to do When Your Contact Angle is out of Spec

Adhesive bonding can be used to create strong, reliable assemblies that perform extraordinarily well in the field. Adhesive bonding is a deceptively sophisticated process that is frequently used in complex manufacturing environments. It is imperative to take a holistic view of each step in a...

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5 minute read

Henkel and BTG Labs Partner to Establish Surface Measurement Standards

Highly engineered products, such as radar, guidance, and communication systems for commercial and defense aerospace applications use highly engineered materials when building products. As a supplier of sophisticated adhesives used in these high-end applications, it is not enough to merely sell...

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4 minute read

Harnessing  the Power of Water to Achieve Precise Results

Nature is miraculous. Living entities, be they plants, animals, marine life or humans, can perform an amazing array of complex tasks. As scientists, inventors, and engineers, we at BTG Labs take inspiration from any source that provides a good idea.  We marvel at how the archerfish uses water to...

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4 minute read

Contact Angle Measurements Can Be Used With Statistical Analysis To Predict Surface Quality

The use of contact angles to measure surface quality has been widely adopted throughout many industries and applications. Your organization, too, has recognized that contact angle measurements provide consistent and objective results in determining whether a surface has been properly prepared...

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6 minute read

Why Knowing Water Contact Angle is Important for Successful Adhesive Performance

Adhesives are an integral part of modern manufacturing, but choosing the right adhesive is only one part of the equation. It’s well known that you won’t get a reliable bond with an adhesive if you just slap the adhesive on to your material without doing anything to prepare that surface. What...

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8 minute read

How to Avoid Polymeric Coating Failure Which Leads to Corrosion in Materials

We know that plastics are in nearly everything these days, but we don’t often think about how plastics are also on nearly everything. Polymer coatings are as common as the latex paint covering the walls of your house. For industrial use, polymeric coatings have been protecting and beautifying...

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3 minute read

Reduce Field Repairs Through Zero Defect Manufacturing

Quality control isn’t about preventing just the most egregious failure possibilities. It’s about setting high standards so that products are reliable for years. Control of quality standards for adhesive bonding of dissimilar materials plays a massive role in not only ensuring recalls and...

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4 minute read

Don’t Let This Process Gap Ruin Your Polymeric Powder Coating

Powder coating is a widely used painting and coating technique to create protective and aesthetic barriers on products from vending machines at municipal pools to washers and dryers, or cars sitting in your driveway. This ingenious technology, that uses an electrostatic charge to bind polymeric...

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9 minute read

Where to Look to Achieve Operational Visibility in Manufacturing

Enterprise manufacturing operations are made up of interlocking, overlapping and critically interdependent processes. Each process in this symbiotic web consists of a series of steps that are only successful when the invisible details are unshrouded and subject to quantitative quality parameters.

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7 minute read

Effective Strategies for Efficient and Reliable Manufacturing That Can’t Wait

The sea change of 2020 has accelerated many shifts that were taking place within manufacturing over the past decade. We are either kicking down the door or being unwittingly swept over the threshold into the next industrial revolution. This transformation requires a paradigm shift from...

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5 minute read

How to Bond Fiber Reinforced Plastics for Harsh Environments

Many manufacturers have a dual performance concern when their products are out there in the world being used in whatever capacity they were designed for. These parallel interests are: how to maintain appearance and how to guarantee structural integrity through common usage of the products. ...

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2 minute read

History of Cleaning for Ideal Electronics Manufacturing with Mike Konrad

At IPC APEX 2020 in San Diego we got the chance to sit down and chat with Mike Konrad, from Aqueous Technologies and the Reliability Matters podcast, a show about the reliability of circuit assemblies.   Mike is an electronics components and assemblies cleaning expert, whose mission is to...

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4 minute read

Topcoat to Primer Surface Reliability for Aircraft Painting

Adhesion problems don’t have a preference when it comes to the kind of damage they cause. Whether the end result is structural or cosmetic, headaches for manufacturers abound; although there are times where the issue doesn’t have to do with sunroofs detaching, electrical shorts or planes falling...

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6 minute read

Component Connection Failure Root Causes on ENIG PCBs

The field of printed circuit board finishing and bonding methods has been growing and diversifying for decades. The design of PCBs depends heavily on the use and environment of the electronic package, and those design decisions include what Surface Mount Technology (SMT) is employed. SMT...

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1 minute read

Eureka Moments: Exposing Improper Abrasion Materials

At Brighton Science (formerly BTG Labs), it's a daily occurrence for us to have a conversation with a customer who, when explaining the reasoning behind using a particular cleaning method or surface preparation material, tells us they use what they use because it's what they've always done....

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4 minute read

Surface Preparation for Primer Coating of Composites in Aerospace Applications

A lot goes into painting an aircraft. This massive, multi-stage process begins long before that final, shiny topcoat you see on the wings and tail is applied. The components are molded, then they’re prepared (which is often a multi-step process in-and-of itself), then they’re assembled, then...

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6 minute read

Conformal Coating Failure Caused by Poor Surface Cleanliness

Electronic components consist of many exposed and delicate pieces that leave them vulnerable.  A lot is relying on these fragile parts to function without fail. From implantable medical devices to navigational equipment and from sensor packages in cars to cell phones, the manufacturers of...

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6 minute read

Is Roughness as Important as Surface Cleanliness to Adhesion?

When the subject of material surfaces comes up among manufacturing engineers the discussion usually centers on the physical attributes of that surface; the surface topography or morphology, or more simply - the surface roughness.  Preparing material surfaces for assembly, coating, painting or...

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4 minute read

Fundamentals of Adhesion & Why 3 Molecular Layers Matter

Adhesion is a powerful phenomenon that can hold massive structures together and fuse microscopic compounds. It is also extremely dependent upon delicate and fragile processes to succeed. In manufacturing, adhesive bonding takes many forms but the principles of adhesion are always the same. Even...

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4 minute read

How to Ensure a Manufacturing Surface is Clean Enough for Adhesion

Cleanliness and adhesion go hand-in-hand. If you’re looking for an adhesion process to be successful then you are also absolutely interested in cleaning the materials involved in the application.  In order to get the most out of your cleaning operations it’s imperative to know three things: ...

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4 minute read

How to Know if a Manufacturing Surface is Treated or Untreated

In order to ensure successful bonding, coating, printing, painting, laminating or meet cleanliness standards in manufacturing, material surfaces must be manipulated. One such manipulation that gets surfaces ever closer to being ready for adhesion is surface treatment. There are many operations...

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4 minute read

TickTock: Impact of Time on Surface Preparation in Production

There are numerous obstacles to maintaining a material surface that is clean and fully prepared for adhesion in a manufacturing process. But there is one element that carries through the entire adhesion process and has a massive effect on the adhesion performance of the final product: TIME.  ...

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3 minute read

Why an Incoming Cleanliness Spec Ensures Vendor Compliance

Supply chain control is crucial to ensuring that the time, money and labor put into a production process doesn’t go to waste. Managing what comes into the production process has a massive impact on how effective and efficient the production process is ultimately going to be. For companies...

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3 minute read

A Benchmark for Your Production Surface Preparation Process

Certainty. This is the goal of every manufacturing process. Manufacturers need to have total confidence that every aspect of their production process will go according to plan. The adhesion process needs to be controlled just like any other production operation, with accuracy and on-going...

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4 minute read

Expert Guide to Create a Surface Quality Specification

Various industries have different names for ways they change material surfaces during a production process. In medical fields and other industries dealing with high-reliability polymers they’ll refer to the treatment of materials. In automotive and machining sectors the word used is often ...

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4 minute read

New and Better Surface Quality Test Than the Water Break

There are times when trying to discern if adhesion in manufacturing will succeed seems like a deeply mysterious and opaque puzzle. The water break test is a simple and fairly straight-forward method of detecting hydrophobic (water-repellant) contaminants on surfaces, most commonly on flat sheets...

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3 minute read

Easy Ways to Find Manufacturing Adhesion Failure Sources

When adhesion failure plagues a manufacturing process it can be particularly disruptive. A production process may be humming along just fine and then it suddenly becomes clear that a coating is uneven, or paint is chipping (when it wasn’t before), or joints are weaker than they had been, or film...

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4 minute read

How to Fix Common Causes of Adhesion Problems

Manufacturers often have a large blind spot when it comes to the causes of adhesion problems. This blind spot makes it impossible to solve these problems and generates frustration and loss rather than productivity and adhesion success. Taking the blinders off and taking on adhesion failure at...

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3 minute read

Corona Treatment Concerns You Need to be Taking a Closer Look At

Disclaimer: this article is not about COVID-19, it is about a surface treatment process for better adhesion in manufacturing. If you're looking for information about cleaning, here's an article that discusses the difference between biological cleanliness and chemical cleanliness: COVID-19:...

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2 minute read

How to Get the Most out of Industrial Parts Washers

Parts washers are the heavy-duty, hardworking machines that have become irreplaceable staples in any automotive or machined part manufacturing process. As manufacturing processes have become more sophisticated, the industries using parts washers includes not only industrial metals and aerospace...

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3 minute read

4 Common Factors that Affect Conformal Coating Adhesion

The pervasiveness of electronics in every manufacturing industry has provided unique challenges. Manufacturers are tasked with protecting these componentsin environments that make electronics vulnerable to even minute amounts of moisture, debris and environmental contamination. A useful solution...

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1 minute read

Webinar: BTG Labs + Plasmatreat Team Up for Polymer Surface Activation Discussion

This Tuesday, December 11 at 2pm EST we'll be partnering with Plasmatreat, a developer of surface treatment systems, to present a webinar hosted by Plastics Technology magazine. Dr. Giles Dillingham, BTG Labs' CEO and Chief Scientist, and Khoren Sahagian, Chief Process Engineer and Applications...

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2 minute read

Looking at a Turkey Through the Eyes of a BTG Process Engineer

Ever wonder what a hungry BTG Process Engineer is pondering while preparing the turkey for the feast of gratitude to be shared around the Thanksgiving table? The sharp minds at BTG Labs are ever vigilant in the quest for a surface state properly prepared for the task at hand; whether that be...

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2 minute read

What Does Clean Mean?

This article was co-written by Elizabeth Kidd, BTG Labs' Custom Applications Scientist and Research and Development Chemist. Coating and adhesive bonding are extremely common manufacturing process steps. It may seem obvious, but to ensure success in these applications, surfaces must be properly ...

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1 minute read

Webinar: Getting the Most Out of Your Plasma Treatment

We've collaborated once again with Composites World for a webinar elucidating a surface prep tool that's widely used and seldom understood. Watch the video of the webinar "Strategies to Control and Optimize Plasma Treatment in Composite Manufacturing" to learn how to get the most out of plasma...

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Less than a minute read

New Webinar Discussing Additive Blooming Effects on Polymer Adhesion

Partnering with Plastics Technology, BTG Labs held a webinar about a topic that’s attracting a lot of attention.

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2 minute read

Adhesive Failure is a Good Thing, and here's why

Adhesion failure in manufacturing is an opportunity in disguise for exceptional business growth...if you do the work to understand the why behind your failures. Say what?

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2 minute read

Your Technicians Are Solvent Wiping Aluminum Wrong (and what to do about it)

Your Technicians are Solvent Wiping Aluminum Wrong   “We need to be solvent wiping our aluminum before it’s coated/painted/sealed/insert adhesion-intensive process here.” Technically, that’s correct...you should be. But is that understanding enough?

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2 minute read

How to Uncover Hidden Adhesion Problems in Your Manufacturing Process

“We didn’t even know we were having process problems.” It’s an all-too-common phrase we hear from our customers, when they realize the level of understanding available to them now in their manufacturing operation. Simply put, you can’t solve an adhesion problem that doesn’t exist, and we’re...

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2 minute read

Surface Stories: A Golden Bonding Opportunity

When most of us think of gold, we think of watches, rings, necklaces and even teeth. For electronics manufacturer’s, gold is one of the highest quality and most electrically conductive materials used in electrical component manufacturing. In order to best perform its golden duty as a conductor...

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2 minute read

Surface Stories: It's All a Matter of Grit

The quality of a process should be left up to chance. This is commonly the approach that has been taken by manufacturers when working to control their adhesion preparation processes. However, this is due to no fault of their own. In the past, the approach to gaining this understanding was...

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2 minute read

Supplier Product Quality: Common Questions Circuit Board Printers and Manufacturers Ask BTG Labs

We get our circuit boards from an international supplier and don't have a clear understanding of what the , so how can we trust they understand our concerns and are objective with their answers?

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1 minute read

Customer Journey: Medical Tubing Gets Validated

  How do we obtain FDA validation on our medical tubing when there’s no way to show quality in a measurable and specific way? A question all too commonly faced in the medical device industry, with the answer meaning acceptance of the product and the ability to sell without risking legal...

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1 minute read

Deck the Hulls: Preparing Ship Hulls for Coating and Painting

Manufacturing a product to withstand the environmental stresses of wind, rain, and sediment is challenging enough. But, when you add saltwater and wave action to the mix, the detrimental threat of corrosion increases significantly. A coating adhesion test is important for quickly testing a...

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1 minute read

Improve You Understanding and Control of Surface Preparation

Watch BTG Labs’ latest video and learn how to gain total surface quality control with surface preparation with the push of a button. This video offers a way to better understand and optimize control of critical surface processes, ultimately giving manufacturers the ability to engineer a stronger...

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1 minute read

Learn How to Gain Total Surface Quality Control

Watch the latest BTG Labs’ video showing the Surface Analyst’s revolutionary method for optimizing critical surface processes in manufacturing. This video demonstrates how the Surface Analyst provides total surface quality control for manufacturers who previously had ineffective methods, or no...

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1 minute read

Guaranteeing Anti-fog Coating Application on Automotive Headlights

The competitive nature of the automotive industry requires manufacturers to engineer the ideal product; failures, no matter how small, are unacceptable and can bring heavy consequences.

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1 minute read

Register for BTG Labs' Upcoming Webinar: "Development and Control of Surface Treatments for Adhesion Bonding of Composites"

Join BTG Labs for another webinar presented by Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham. Tune in Tuesday, October 17 at 2 pm ET for this highly anticipated seminar. Hosted by Composites World, this webinar has attracted over 300 registrants so far. Dr. Dillingham’s seminar on optimizing the adhesion...

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1 minute read

How the Surface Analyst Optimizes Parts Washer Performance

Parts washers play an integral role in manufacturing, especially on machined parts and bonding surfaces. Prior to coating, sealing, painting, and welding, parts washers help remove contaminants generated from fabrication to facilitate stronger bonds. But, for a reliable bond to form, the surface...

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1 minute read

Keeping Your Golf Equipment on Par: Why Top Manufacturers Turn to the Surface Analyst

There’s nothing like arriving at the course on a fresh spring morning. The sun is low, casting long shadows across the green mounds, foggy rays bring hints of warmth, a fresh, dewy smell fills the air, and everything is the most vivid green of the year. It’s time to get out the bag, polish the...

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1 minute read

BTG Labs to Present New Data at ALAC Conference 2017

  BTG Labs will present new data on monitoring laser cleaning with Surface Analyst at ALAC (Advanced Laser Applications Conference) 2017. Taking place in Novi, Michigan from May 9-10, this show brings together the latest in advanced laser technology. BTG Labs’ Lead Sales Engineer Lucas Dillingham

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1 minute read

Spring Cleaning: BTG Labs Style

It’s the first day of spring. Depending on where you live, this could mean opening the windows, planting seeds, rolling out the motorcycle, and waiting for Opening Day. Here at BTG Labs, we think of spring cleaning. Of course, this usually generates visions of humming vacuums and sloppy mops,...

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1 minute read

Surface Energy Measurement on Food Packaging and Print

Food packaging and print industries often face the obstacle of adhering to low energy substrates such as polypropylene. Measuring the surface’s cleanliness prior to bonding or printing is the key to successful adhesion. The common method for measuring surface cleanliness, or surface energy on...

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1 minute read

BTG Labs at AeroDef 2017

AeroDef Manufacturing 2017  is the pivotal event for world leaders of the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. BTG Labs is excited to exhibit, speak, and teach a course at the conference held March 6-9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. BTG Labs Chief Scientist...

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1 minute read

BTG Labs Speaking at Plasmatreat's Open House

BTG Labs excitedly anticipates Plasmatreat's Open House and Surface TechDays. Held March 30 & 31 in Hayward, California. The 2-day event brings together leaders in the industries of electronics, automotive, and medical device. The Open House will showcase Plasmatreat's new R&D Center and Plasma...

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2 minute read

5 Primary Uses of the Surface Analyst

The Importance of Surface Cleanliness BTG Labs' Surface Analyst™ is a fast, easy, accurate, nondestructive, handheld device. It uses contact angle to measure the cleanliness level of a surface. Understanding and defining surface cleanliness within manufacturing is necessary. How a manufacturer...

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1 minute read

Contact Angle Analysis: Sealing Surface of Aluminum Castings

Surface Requirements of Aluminum Castings Automotive manufacturers widely utilize aluminum castings as the most successful way to create aluminum parts. However, this process can involve inorganic contaminants on the surface which interfere with potential bonding, sealing, or coating. BTG Labs...

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1 minute read

Qualification of Surface Preparation Processes for Bonded Aircraft Repair

Adhesive Bonding Repair The two principle materials used in aircraft manufacturing, metals and polymers, tote particularly reactive surfaces. This leaves them highly susceptible to contamination. As adhesive bonded repairs become more and more popular in the industry, knowing and understanding...

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3 minute read

Automotive Applications Series: Ensuring Success for Formed-In-Place Gasket (FIPG) Applications

Controlling Surface Condition in FIPG Application Increasingly, FIPG processes are replacing traditional gaskets for a variety of automotive applications such as air filters, oil filters, door panels, and external engine parts. The advantages include cheaper material cost, higher throughput...

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