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 qualifies a properly prepared surface can differ depending on the surface preparation process and requirements. Measuring and monitoring surfaces applies to many different steps within the manufacturing procedure. Consequently, the Surface Analyst applies to situations like: data collection, process development, supplier verification, identifying present and potential issues, and anticipating possible contaminants.

 

Inspecting dish washer with surface analyst

Surface Analyst taking measurement.

Surface Preparation and So Much More

 

BTG Labs breaks down the 5 Primary Uses of the Surface Analyst. This demonstrates the multifaceted ways in which the Surface Analyst can refine surface preparation processes to reinforce reliable, consistent, and strong adhesive processes.

5 Primary Uses of the Surface Analyst

  1. To develop appropriate surface preparation processes and guarantee performance. There are dozens of surface preparation processes: grit-blasting, plasma treatment, solvent wiping, washing, etc. Each process produces different results. For specific surface treatment processes–automotive, aerospace, medical, or electronic–the Surface Analyst can determine the desired surface cleanliness level and way in which to achieve said level to successfully produce results for every application.
  2. To verify condition of incoming surfaces from suppliers. Supplier verification is crucial, but can be difficult and even impossible without a way to measure surface cleanliness. With the Surface Analyst, both the manufacturer and the supplier can verify the validity of the part quantifiably and objectively.
  3. To confirm and document proper surface treatment on the manufacturing floor or during repairs. On the factory floor, the Surface Analyst instantly confirms a part’s appropriate cleanliness. When failed bonds require repairs , the Surface Analyst can also ensure a successful bond and prevent further failures. The instrument stores every measurement which can be collected and formed into useful data to monitor consistency.
  4. To determine the effect of aging on surface preparation. Often, after preparing a surface, time passes before the adhesive can be applied. Monitoring surface cleanliness levels in this lay time can identify and anticipate potential contaminants.
  5. To troubleshoot surface preparation processes. Occasionally, coating bubbles,  paint peels, or a bond fails. When this happens, the surface preparation process requires reexamination. This can be a simple or complex process, depending on the procedure. The Surface Analyst can identify where and when a step needs refining.

So, as a measure of surface cleanliness, the Surface Analyst has multiple applications.  Whether it’s process development, troubleshooting, supplier verification, data collection, or contaminant monitoring it can renovate and refine the surface preparation process.