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 contact angle is determined by the surface energy of the substrate and the liquid and how strongly they interact with each other. This water contact angle correlates very well with the cleanliness and consistency of a surface.
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The Figure shows the relationship between the surface tension of the dyne test ink and the water contact angle.