Solvent wiping and sanding procedures can greatly affect the surface energy of a substrate. To investigate the surface energy differences following different preparation procedures of an epoxy/composite laminate, several different surface conditions were created utilizing different cleaning techniques.
Measurements were obtained using a BTG Labs Surface Analyst™. The Surface Analyst is a fast, easy, accurate and nondestructive instrument that measures the contact angle of water that is applied to the surface in a precise, controlled manner.
This contact angle is determined by how strongly the surface energy of the substrate and the liquid interact with one another. The relationship between this contact angle and surface energy is complex but well understood. More importantly, this relationship correlates with the strength of adhesion of a paint, coating, print or adhesive to the substrate.