News + Science from the Engineers of the Surface Analyst
During this holiday season, BTG Labs reflects on another great year.
In 2017, the team grew by 53%, expanding almost every department with new, talented members.
Throughout the year, BTG Labs has kept busy, traveling coast to coast for trade shows and conferences in industries ranging from film and flexible packaging to medical device and globally for visits to both new and existing customers.
The new website, BTGLabs.com is heavier with content and new pages including a Services page featuring the Process Development Packages and the popular Extended Care Plan; and the Shop page for purchasing Surface Analyst accessories such as battery packs, water cartridges, AC adaptors, and Performance Verification Check Surface (PVCS) cards. The new pages allow Surface Analyst users to more efficiently order accessories or attain BTG Labs services to ensure all instruments are running seamlessly.
Last week, BTG Labs exhibited and presented at the largest composites show and conference: CAMX 2017. Despite a set-back due to Hurricane Irma, causing the date to be rescheduled from September to December, the show attracted a large turn out with hundreds of industry specialists to exchange the latest in composite innovation.
As manufacturers of the fast, easy, accurate, and hand-held Surface Analyst that is used widely in the composites industry, CAMX is a show that BTG Labs anticipates every year.
BTG Labs Sales Engineer Paul McLean, who hosted a booth alongside Sales Engineer Alex Bien, reflects on the event: …Read More
BTG Labs will exhibit at CAMX 2017, The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, which will run December 11-14 in Orlando, FL. BTG Labs will host booth N17. Visit our booth for live demonstrations of the Surface Analyst.
BTG Labs’ CEO and Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will give a presentation entitled “Rapid Development of Surface Treatment Processes” on Wednesday, December 13 at 2:00 pm, Room W209A.
Giles will discuss the use of rapid water contact angle measurements to screen surface preparation methods for adhesive bonding processes, and the transition of these measurements into the manufacturing environment to ensure long-term control. The course will review successful application of water contact angle measurements in laser surface preparation, peel ply and plasma treatment and secondary bonding of dissimilar materials in aircraft repair. Add this course to your MyCAMX schedule here.
Giles will also be teaching a short course along side BTG Labs’ partner Lou Dorworth of Abaris Training Resources. This short course titled, “Surface Preparation & Adhesion Principles: Successful Bonding of Composites” will examine methods for achieving long-lasting bonds to laminated RFP composite structures by focusing on techniques to ensure proper surface preparation and surface treatment.
This course will take place Monday, December 11 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm in room W207C. Add it to your MyCAMX schedule here.
If you bond, coat, clean, seal, print, or paint, be sure to add the BTG Labs booth to your schedule here.
Manufacturing a product to withstand the environmental stresses of wind, rain, and sediment is challenging enough. But, when you add saltwater and wave action to the mix, the detrimental threat of corrosion increases significantly.
Anti-corrosive or anti-fouling coatings and protective paints serve to protect ships against those environmental threats.
But, the coating or paint is only as strong as its adhesive quality. If the adhesion fails, the coating or paint chips and the ship becomes vulnerable to corrosion. Failures in the field can be both costly and dangerous.
Ensuring quality adhesion is the key to guaranteeing successful protection. But, how can quality adhesion be achieved?
In some industries–including film and flexible packaging–dyne is the primary language. BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst uses water contact angle measurements as a fast easy, objective, and non-destructive alternative to dyne inks.
The main concern we hear from manufacturers is that both the suppliers and the customers speak dyne as their standard.
The answer is the Surface Analyst’s Dyne Mode. This unique feature takes the Surface Analyst’s default contact angle measurement and automatically converts the measurement into a dyne/cm readout, directly on the instrument. This mode allows manufacturers to maintain their investment in the dyne measurement language.
BTG Labs believes in dyne measurements, but not dyne inks. Manufacturers using dyne inks struggle with inaccuracy and subjectivity, leaving much room for error. Furthermore, because of dyne inks’ destructive nature, users can’t measure on the actual part. This leaves dyne inks virtually impossible for testing the part on the factory floor. …Read More
Of all the challenges manufacturers face, creating and optimizing critical surface processes for various materials can be very difficult. Traits such as location, size, shape, and texture can add to the challenge. The success of any critical surface process requires an in-line, fast, easy, and accurate verification method.
That’s why more and more manufacturers are turning to the Surface Analyst. Whether it’s bonding, painting, printing, cleaning, coating, or sealing, BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst optimizes critical surface processes and monitors surface treatment on virtually any surface so the product is guaranteed to deliver.
BTG Labs engineered the Surface Analyst to adapt to any application directly on the factory floor. Patented Ballistic Deposition deposits a stream of micro-droplets on the surface; these micro-droplets contain kinetic energy which allows the drops to overcome various textures and different angles without interfering with measurement accuracy. The drop size can also be adjusted so that measurements can be taken on any sized surface from a giant wind turbine to a minuscule medical catheter.
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.
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.
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.
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.