News + Science from the Engineers of the Surface Analyst

  • Answer: If the manufacturers below had looked to the material surface itself to solve their adhesion problems, tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of production hours could have been saved. But, how we do know that?

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  • Water break testing. Dyne pens. Goniometer. No method at all.

    The search for a reliable, repeatable, objective method (i.e. not based on opinion) for measuring surface readiness in manufacturing was a search all too common among our current customers, and these methods are the most commonly tried and (formerly) used among them.

    Achieving great adhesion in manufacturing comes down to surface preparation (we call it “Clean to a Number”) and optimal surface prep is the difference between an average product…and an industry-leading one.

    But getting there means having an objectively quantified understanding of the top 3 molecular layers of your material surface.

    Did we just say “top 3 molecular layers?”

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  • Bring your samples, to SAMPE.

    by Hunter Brankamp May 2018


    On May 21-24, BTG Labs heads back to Long Beach, CA but this time for the SAMPE 2018 Conference & Exhibition.

    Recently in Long Beach for AeroDef, one of the aerospace and defense industries’ most widely recognized conferences, BTG Labs now contributes to this tradeshow that features “the latest technologies and research advancements in the industry.” Maybe you’ve heard of a little instrument called The Surface Analyst?

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    Real-time data.

    New industry buzzword?

    Or a new generation of process and quality control?

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  • film - manufacturing adhesion problems

    “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 willing to bet that it does.

    • How do manufacturers go about finding these hidden, but massively impactful, manufacturing problems that exist in adhesion-related processes?

    Sure enough, it’s a process.

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  • Incoming! What’s that sound?

    That’s the sound of manufacturers not having a supplier specification created for incoming materials in their operation.

    It’s like the old piece of wisdom: You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from.

    While we’re not exactly sure who said it, it applies exactly to what’s needed when it comes to covering your bases from an incoming materials standpoint.

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  • 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 of electricity, the thin wire must make intimate contact with the circuit board itself. Without this connection, failure is inevitable.

    A recent customer and manufacturer of microelectronic components needed a way to guarantee that the bonds created between the gold wire they were using in their microprocessors was maximally bonded to the gold-plated palladium bond pad. Were they able to achieve this?

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  • “We’re manufacturing catheters, but currently we don’t have a reliable way to verify that our plasma treatment prior to coating is as effective as it could be.”

    It should be no surprise that manufacturing in the medical device world carries with it a unique level of responsibility, as the final products directly affect the health and safety of the end user.

    The comfort and safety of patients is directly related to the quality of products that come out of medical manufacturing operations. The FDA mandates these manufacturers to meet strict validation standards in order to sell their products.

    So, when a manufacturer’s only option, until recently, is assuming their pre-adhesion processing was adequate, the outlook is cloudy, at best. There was a problem that needed to be solved to bring quality testing to life.

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    At the end of this month, an opportunity that comes only once a year will be coming to the AeroDef Manufacturing Conference, March 26-29 in Huntington, CA.

    What opportunity are we talking about?

    None other than seeing Giles Dillingham, our CTO & Chief Scientist here at BTG Labs speak on Quality and Consistency of Plasma Treatment on Composites.

    So, who’s going to AeroDef?

    Use this link to register for the seminar to receive a free exhibits-only pass and save 10% on conference registration!

    Also, be sure to stop by the BTG Labs’ and Abaris Booth #640 to meet the BTG Labs team and see live demonstrations of the Surface Analyst.

    We look forward to seeing you there!



    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 largely, up in the air, but we’re here to finally bring the clarity and focus that manufacturers have been searching for.

    Our customer in this Surface Story, who similar to our last story also happens to be from the aerospace industry, gained exactly that: focus and clarity around their pre-adhesion processing.

    …Read More