News + Science from the Engineers of the Surface Analyst

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    In 2014, a large manufacturer of automotive exteriors and interiors encountered a problem consistently adhering paint to their dashboards due to an inappropriate use of their flame treatment.

    Flame treatment is a popular and notable procedure that can successfully modify the surface chemistry of a polymer, readying it for adhesion. Although flame treatment is an effective solution, determining the amount of treatment can be a delicate procedure. The over-flaming of these highly sensitive polymers can lead to polymer reorientation due to localized melting and ultimately, destruction of the surface.

    In this case, however, the manufacturer was not utilizing flame treatment to monitor their surface cleanliness. Instead, they used it to deflash excess material on the edges of their dash boards. The edges of the dashboard were being over-flamed, hindering the polymer’s surface adhesion ability. This, in turn restricted paint from correctly adhering to the edges of the dashboard. The company needed a way to determine the appropriate amount of flame treatment.

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  • Watch BTG Labs’ latest video and learn how to gain total surface quality control with the push of a button. This video offers a way to better understand and optimize control of critical surface processes, ultimately giving manufacturers the ability to engineer a stronger product.

    The video features Lead Sales Engineer Lucas Dillingham demonstrating the Surface Analyst’s fast, easy, accurate and non-destructive surface cleanliness measurements that can be taken in real-time, on the factory floor.

    In seconds, the Surface Analyst reveals how ready a surface is prior to processing. Watch Lucas take multiple measurements across the surface of an engine casing post surface preparation. The water contact angle measurements, which directly correlate with surface cleanliness, show the level of cleanliness achieved by the surface preparation. The Surface Analyst reveals not only surface preparation success, but also uniformity of the treatment.

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  • Watch the latest BTG Labs’ video showing the Surface Analyst’s revolutionary method for optimizing critical surface processes in manufacturing.

    This video demonstrates how the Surface Analyst provides total surface quality control for manufacturers who previously had ineffective methods, or no method at all. The instrument’s portability, ease-of-use, intuitive GUI, and rechargeable battery provides a surface cleanliness gauge that verifies surface treatment directly on the factory floor.

    Maintaining control of a surface allows the manufacturer to guarantee bonds, paint, and adhesives. The Surface Analyst provides instant quantitative surface cleanliness measurements to verify these bonds will hold reliably.

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  • The competitive nature of the automotive industry requires manufacturers to engineer the ideal product; failures, no matter how small, are unacceptable and can bring heavy consequences.

    A particular problem that plagues automobiles is condensation collecting on the inside of headlights. High performance automotives must not only perform well mechanically but must also maintain an exceptional aesthetic. Water droplets condensing on the insides of headlights are unappealing and unacceptable to consumers.

    In order to prevent that condensation, manufacturers use an invisible coating on the inside of polycarbonate headlight lenses called anti-fog.

    This coating is applied via spray application which can be difficult and inconsistent due to several variables: low energy mold releases left on the surface; environmental contaminants; contaminants from handling; uneven spray application; and incorrect coating solutions.

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  • As the wind energy industry grows—by 2020 it is expected to provide 10% of the nation’s electricity— wind turbine manufacturers must strive for the most reliable and efficient product that operates reliably and seamlessly. Adhesion failures in the field, are unacceptable and even dangerous, but still occur.

    Wind turbine manufacturers are making it a priority to overcome adhesion failures in the field and implement ways to ensure repairs only need to be done once. Currently, wind turbine repair is extremely expensive: in most cases, the part must be shipped back to the manufacturing plant for repair. And most importantly, turbine failure could be damaging and dangerous to what could be in the vicinity.

    Adhesion failures most often happen due to improper surface treatment prior to adhesion. Optimizing adhesion processes and gaining control of the bond surface guarantees a reliable bond and prevents failures in the field.

    As a result, wind turbine manufacturers are turning to the best in surface cleanliness gauges: The Surface Analyst.

    …Read More

  • Watch BTG Labs’ Recent Webinar

    by Emily Walsh October 2017

    BTG Labs presented yet another successful webinar. Hosted by Composites World, and presented by Dr. Giles Dillingham, “Development and Control of Surface Treatments for Adhesive Bonding of Composites” brought over 430 registrants.

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  • BTG Labs is excited to present a new paper at the ASNT (American Soceity for Nondestructive Testing) Annual Conference 2017. Taking place in Nashville, Tennessee October 30 to November 2, this event brings together individuals and companies from a diverse range of industries including radiographers, engineers, manufacturers, and researchers for one of the largest non-destructive testing conferences offered.

    Attendees will gather to present, exhibit, and exchange the latest developments and advancements in non-destructive testing. …Read More

  • Join BTG Labs for another webinar presented by Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham. Tune in Tuesday, October 17 at 2 pm ET for this highly anticipated seminar.

    Hosted by Composites World, this webinar has attracted over 300 registrants so far.

    Dr. Dillingham’s seminar on optimizing the adhesion of composites, “Development and Control of Surface Treatments for Adhesion Bonding of Composites” will offer attendees a chance to learn more about surface science and ask questions. …Read More

  • Last week, SAMPE hosted a one-day technical conference, the High Desert Chapter, to provide an opportunity for composites manufacturers to touch base before the next full length SAMPE show in 2018.

    BTG Labs’ West Coast Sales Engineer Aaron Berding, hosted a booth for the event.

    Was this your first time at the show? What were some advantages to a smaller show? What was different about this one?

    This was BTG’s first time at the show. The advantage of the small show was that attendees had more time to stop and chat without the overwhelming crowds and busy schedule. They are more willing to stop and chat with your because there were only 75 booths, instead of 300, 500, etc. …Read More

  • Check out BTG Labs’ recent article published in Converting Quarterly’s Q3 issue. The official publication and technical journal of International Metallizers, Coaters, and Laminators, Converting Quarterly is the go-to publication for web processing, converting, and finishing industries.

    Industry professionals and researchers contribute to the magazine and offer the latest in research and development and industry trends.

    Dr. Giles Dillingham, Chief Scientist of BTG Labs, contributed to the most recent issue with an article entitled, “Film surface properties: Techniques for measurements and control of treatment level.”

    The success of print quality and adhesion quality of films relies on precise control of the surface. Manipulating surface composition with methods such as flame, corona, and plasma treatment can increase surface energy and thus improve the integrity of print and adhesion on film. …Read More