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A Comparison of Dyne Inks with the Surface Analyst

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Dyne inks (whether applied by cotton swabs or by using a dyne pen) provide an estimate of surface energy; what they actually measure is a property called wetting tension: this is the surface tension of a liquid (a blend of either formamide and 2-ethoxyethanol or ethanol and water) that will just wet the surface (i.e. not bead up) under a carefully specified set of application conditions. The surface tension of this liquid is related to the surface energy of the substrate.
While suitable in some cases for estimating surface energy (and therefore cleanliness or treatment level), the imprecision and subjectivity of wetting tension measurements makes them a poor choice for quality assurance and process control of surface cleaning, surface treatment, bonding, coating, and printing operations.
Dyne inks are also destructive to the surface being measured. An alternative method for gauging surface condition and consistency is the Surface Analyst™, which provides a rapid, automated measurement of the water contact angle in a precise, controlled manner. This water contact angle correlates very well with the cleanliness and consistency of a surface.
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