Tag Archives: coating

  • How Clean is Clean Enough?

    by Emily Walsh May 2017

    Manufacturers often encounter a similar puzzle, when cleaning invisible contaminants from a surface, how do you know when the surface is clean; how clean is clean enough? This is a common question that manufacturers ask when preparing their surfaces for bonding, coating, sealing, printing or painting. Until now, there hasn’t been an objective and reliable way to answer this question. Successfully cleaning a surface directly correlates to the adhesive ability of the surface. In order to get something to stick reliably the surface must be clean. How we define that parameter is different for a variety of materials.

    For example, you clean your car differently than you clean your dishes. Why? Because a car rides on the road through rain, smog, dirt, maybe mud, and the other is a vehicle for your food.

    At BTG Labs, our answer to the “clean enough” question is, “Depends on what you’re doing.” There are dozens of critical surface preparation processes that exist for a number of different applications. A handful include:

    • Flame treatment on polypropylene bumpers prior to painting
    • Plasma treatment on PET catheters prior to coating
    • Hand sanding and solvent wiping on aircraft nut plates before adhesively bonding to composite
    • Grit-blasting titanium golf clubs in preparation of bonding to composite
    • Corona treatment on film for packaging prior to metallization, lamination, or coating

    …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • 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 clubs, and maybe replace the grips. The courses are meticulously manicured. The weather is warming. It’s spring and we’re in the midst of golf season.

    Whether it’s a tournament or a casual round with a buddy, relying on your equipment is reflexive. Although, mishaps do occur—grips slip, shafts bend, and balls lose their print—top  golf manufacturers use the Surface Analyst to produce a reliable product that will hold up all season long. …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • Roosevelt University, Image by Chicago Tribune

    Roosevelt University, a liberal arts college in the Loop of downtown Chicago perfectly contrasts antiquated and contemporary architecture. Roosevelt’s first venue, constructed in 1889 just in time for the World Fair, is 17 floors of beautiful Art Nouveau structure. The Auditorium Building encompasses ornate railings and scaffolding, topping off with a regal library and a lofty tower overlooking Grant Park. However, because of its age, the Auditorium Building demands constant attention and is inefficient in the frigid Chicago winters and hazy summers.

    Their new building, the Wabash Building, erected in 2012 is just the opposite. Its 32 towering floors of curved glass superintends the Auditorium Building, arriving amongst the structural giants of Chicago. Illustrating the epitome of modern design, this highly efficient, state of the art structure is LEED certified.

    When looking up at the two buildings, old charm vs new-age sleek, the phrase comes to mind: they just don’t make things like they used to. But, there’s necessity behind this. As the global population rises, infrastructure becomes denser, and resources become scarce, engineers concentrate on building smarter. Designing a building that spares no expense—in terms of efficiency in operation and manufacturing of these smarter materials—is pivotal. This all begins in the research and development lab and extends to the manufacturing floor. Materials and processes are developed to allow for more efficiency in both the production of materials and the final construction. Guaranteeing bonds will hold; paint, print, and coatings will stick; seals will persevere; and cleaning processes will clean effectively is crucial to manufacturing a product that will withstand stresses of any structure.

    That is why more and more manufacturers are turning to the Surface Analyst™. This hand-held instrument ensures any surface is ready for effective bonding, coating, cleaning, sealing, printing, or painting. The ability to verify and quantify critical surface processes on the manufacturing floor is the keystone to efficient manufacturing and smarter structures.

    A high-grade window manufacturer, for example, uses the Surface Analyst to verify plasma treatment on vinyl window frames prior to sealing. This guarantees the windows will efficiently heat or cool a structure while also withstanding the elements of rain, wind, and snow. …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • Image by Cincinnati Reds via Cincinnati Business Courier 

    It’s Opening Day in Cincinnati, Ohio! Now this isn’t just any season opener, Opening Day in Cincinnati is an unofficial city holiday. Downtown is painted red as people gather for the 98th Opening Day Parade and celebrations around town. Offices slow down and desks are empty in schools. Today, Cincinnatians are gearing up for the hometown Reds’ game against the Phillies. We don our red, grab our game day snacks, and pray for fair weather.

     

    Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks

    …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • Surface Analyst Inspection on Engine Casing

    Manufacturers working with metal are all too familiar with the obstacles that come along with coating, painting, bonding, printing, or sealing it. While the uses of metal in manufacturing are countless and exist in numerous industries, the common denominator is ensuring the appropriate surface cleanliness prior to surface critical processes to guarantee successful adhesion. Common surface cleanliness gauges—dyne inks and water break—are subjective and do not offer quantitative results. Water break can be messy and time consuming and dyne is destructive to the part and dangerous to the user. While these methods can offer some insight into surface cleanliness, they are less than ideal.

    BTG Labs Surface Analyst is a fast, easy, accurate, and non-destructive surface cleanliness gauge that tells the user right on the manufacturing floor how prepared the surface is to bond. This hand-held instrument improves surface processes and guarantees a bond will stick. Numerous manufacturers in industries such as consumer goods, automotive, and aerospace, have implemented the Surface Analyst in their specifications to improve their critical metal surface processes. …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • Surface Analyst Inspecting Film

    Film and Flexible Packaging Applications

    Adhering on film and flexible packaging—whether it’s coating, lamination, metallization, print—can be challenging as the materials generally have very low surface energy, which is difficult to adhere to. So, manufacturers recognize the importance of monitoring and verifying surface treatment. Thus, ensuring a proper in-place surface preparation process and verifying this process is crucial for successful adhesion when working with film and flexible packaging.

    BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™ is a fast, easy, and accurate surface energy measurement device. Unlike dyne— the most common surface treatment verification method–it is objective, quantifiable, non-destructive to the material being tested and safe for the user. This handheld device allows users to take measurements in under 2 seconds directly on the factory floor. This reduces waste and ensures a successful product and a satisfied customer.

    Typical Surface Analyst Applications in Film and Flexible Packaging Manufacturing

    • Define optimum flame or corona treatment level
    • Verify and monitor flame and corona treatment level
    • Troubleshoot printing and sealing problems
    • Analyze potential migration of low molecular weight components of polymers in packaging
    • Identify and monitor decay of treatment level due to extended storage or storage under non-ideal conditions
    • Verify surface readiness to print on PET and polyethylene bottle packaging
    • Monitor printing film on flexible packaging
    • Flag environmental contaminants in production/on rollers or transfer areas

    …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • Medical Tubing 2016 Promo Banner_600x213px

    AMI Medical Tubing 2016

     

    BTG Labs will host a booth and present at the Applied Marked Information (AMI) Medical Tubing Conference September 13-14, 2016. The event will take place in Crowne Plaza Boston-Woburn, Woburn, Massachusetts. This international event displays the latest in polymeric medical tubing and catheters, covering designs, materials, production and applications. The conference will host discussions on the latest standards and certification requirements. This field of medical device manufacturing is growing and evolving rapidly along with the use of polymers in medical tubing.

    BTG Labs and the Surface Properties of Medical Tubing

     

    BTG Labs will present on the sensitive and complex surface properties of medical tubing such as wettability, adhesion, antithrombogenicity, and biocompatibility. These properties depend on the chemical composition and structure of the uppermost 2-3 nanometers of the material. Thus, monitoring and managing these properties is crucial in manufacturing. This can be challenging as surface monitoring devices such as total reflectance infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) can be impractical to employ on the manufacturing floor. BTG Labs will discuss the Surface Analyst™ and ways in which it can be utilized to monitor these minute surfaces accurately and sensitively on the factory floor. …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • SAE International

    Society of Automotive Engineers International

    BTG Labs will be attending the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) AMS Aerospace Organization Coatings Committee (AMS G-8)’s annual meeting May 3-5. Dr. Giles Dillingham and Lucas Dillingham will present on “An Integrated Approach to Quantification of Contaminant Effects on Surface Sensitive Processes.” The presentation is based on a collaboration with Lockheed Martin Skunkworks under DARPA support about a new approach at studying surface contaminants. This new approach proposes studying contaminants according to their chemical structure rather than the conventional way which studies the effects of complex contaminant mixtures without identifying and studying individual contaminants. G-8, a branch of SAE, studies adhesive bonding of composites and composes the handbook for bonding composites in aircraft, as well as the publication of the CMH-17 Handbook. SAE strives to standardize language relevant to data generation, testing, and reporting of composites. Below is the abstract for Dr. Dillingham’s presentation.

     

    An Integrated Approach to Quantification of Contaminant Effects on Surface Sensitive Processes ~ Lucas Dillingham, Giles Dillingham / BTG Labs

     

    The detrimental effects of a contaminant are determined by i) the amount of the contaminant in the environment, ii) the affinity of the contaminant for the critical surface, and iii) the compatibility (i.e. solubility) of the contaminant in the adhesive or coating.  The most common approach for evaluating contaminant effects has been to evaluate the effect of a complex blend of multiple contaminants. Because this approach provides no information as to what makes a given contaminant detrimental, it limits our ability to predict the effect of an untested contaminant.    Developing an understanding of the relationship between contaminant structure and effect can lead to more intelligent design of surface preparation processes, more robust adhesive and coating formulations, and more reliable manufacturing processes.

    …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0
  • conPolymers are some of the most common base materials used in automotive parts. Polypropelenes, Polyolefins, and ABS plastics are used in dashboards, door panels, bumper fascias, liftgates, sensors, and increasingly exterior doors and fenders. A polymer is a low surface energy material that typically needs some form of surface processing prior to bonding an assembly, encapsulating a sensor, painting an interior control knob or an exterior bumper fascia. These materials also tend to show high contamination with mold releases that can be tough to remove and will essentially guarantee unsuccessful adhesion or coating.

    There are a variety of surface processing methods used in the industry to help remove contamination and increase the surface energy of these polymer materials. These processes include flame treatment, plasma treatment, corona treatment, and solvent wiping. Another option is to utilize specialty paints and adhesives that tolerate lower energy substrates. There are pitfalls, however, to implementing any of these methods that manufacturers need to be aware of. Understanding the nature of these surface-critical systems is the only way to guarantee success in the final result. Control of the inputs means predictability and control of the output.

    …Read More

    • Likes
    • Comments 0