Manufacturers are familiar with adhesion challenges when attempting to bond, paint, etch, or coat a substrate. Poorly prepared surfaces can undoubtedly produce problematic adhesion issues. A common standard for measuring the effectiveness of paint adhesion relies on an archaic method: The Tape Test. While the Tape Test can provide some insight on adhesive ability, its analysis is subjective, the process is time consuming, and it is a destructive test. There are also many conditions that are difficult to control and maintain consistency: the force at which the tape is peeled, the speed at which the tape is peeled from the surface, as well as the pressure at which the crosshatch grid is applied all contribute to the test’s downfalls. Furthermore, it can only be done post treatment and application or in the lab for research and development. So, this test is not practical or possible to use as a surface readiness indicator prior to bonding on the manufacturing floor.
There exists an objective, quantitative, and non-destructive surface energy gauge, the Surface Analyst. This portable instrument measures surface energy that directly relates to surface cleanliness and preparedness for adhesion. These characteristics are ideal for in-line process monitoring on a factory floor as well as research and development in a laboratory.