Tag Archives: surface cleanliness


    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.

    …Read More

  • 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.

    …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.

    …Read More

  • 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

  • Parts washers play an integral role in manufacturing, especially on machined parts and bonding surfaces. Prior to coating, sealing, painting, and welding, parts washers help remove contaminants generated from fabrication to facilitate stronger bonds.

    But, for a reliable bond to form, the surface must not only be free of particles, it must also be chemically clean. Thus, quantifying and analyzing parts washer effectiveness in removing chemicals is the key to ensuring the desired surface is achieved.

    The importance of monitoring cleaning processes in preparation for bonding is becoming increasingly necessary as sealing processes are rapidly replacing traditional mechanical fasteners and gaskets.

    However, when sealing, the surface must be clean and clear of contaminants to guarantee the bond. The Surface Analyst monitors and optimizes washer systems to ensure the part comes out chemically clean and ready to hold a reliable bond. …Read More

  • BTG Lab’s recently held another successful webinar. Hosted by Products Finishing and presented by Dr. Giles Dillingham, the webinar emphasized the importance of monitoring cleaning processes and explored different ways to measure surface cleanliness.

    In the webinar, Dr. Dillingham discusses measuring surface cleanliness as a way to quantify cleaning processes. By measuring the success of cleaning processes, manufacturers can determine the ideal solution for their application.

    Precisely evaluating cleaning processes with water contact angle is a fast, easy, accurate, quantitative to way to gain ensure consistency and precision on the factory floor.

    …Read More

  • Join BTG Labs August 29 at 2pm EDT for the webinar “How to Establish Quantitative Control of Cleaning Processes” hosted by Products Finishing, presented by Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham.

    Products Finishing is a reliable source for the latest in surface finishing technology and updates. They connect manufacturers with expertise in finishing including industrial plating, painting, powder coating, cleaning, pre-treatment, and mechanical finishing.

    This webinar will explore the importance of verifying and monitoring cleaning processes prior to bonding, coating, painting, and sealing. Any critical surface process requires a properly cleaned surface. In-place surface cleanliness verification is the only way to assure the surface is properly prepared for the next step.

    …Read More

  • Nestled in the tall pines of the Jemez Mountains lies the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This center of scientific excellence, brings together some of the top minds in the world to maintain the country’s nuclear arsenal.

    This maintenance requires precise attention to detail and includes upkeep and repairs.

    Dr. Dillingham presented to the lab last week on how those repairs can be improved and ways to establish the strongest possible bond.

    His presentation, “Understanding and Controlling the Bond Surface in Manufacturing for Reliable Adhesive Bonding” delved into surface characteristics, the importance of controlling the bond surface, and characteristics of the surface that can be manipulated to form stronger bonds. …Read More

  • BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst is more than just a fast, easy, accurate, hand-held, non-destructive, objective surface cleanliness gauge. It encompasses features to personalize your application for measuring on different parts and for different purposes.

    Because we work in highly diverse industries with countless applications from bonded nut plates on fighter jets to printed labels on packaging to hydrophilic coating on medical tubing our instrument is built to personalize your application.

    Chart that shows measurement results directly on the Surface Analyst instrument.

    The Surface Analyst features include charting results and statistics capabilities; modifiable material profiles for any application; auto drop detect for faster in-line operation; and adjustable drop size for easy measurements on any surface. These and other features of the Surface Analyst allow a manufacturer to personalize and optimize their surface critical processes.

    Check out the list of features you should be using. …Read More

  • Dr. Carlos Barrios, a colleague of mine from 3M St. Paul, asked over dinner at the last meeting of the Adhesion Society if I would like to take part in teaching a week-long course in polymers at the leading university in Colombia.

    The course took place at Universidad Nacional in Bogota, Colombia. About 50 engineering students and several professional engineers from the community attended.

    I taught the course in conjunction with Carlos and Omar Arias (Manager of Technical Service for 3M in Latin America).

    We split the course into three segments: I taught “Fundamentals of Surface Energy and Adhesion”; Carlos taught “Recent Advances in the Science of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives”; and Omar taught “3M Solutions through High Performance Pressure Sensitive Adhesives”.

    My segment of the class included hands-on experiments that demonstrated the relationships between surface energy and peel strength of pressure sensitive adhesives.

    The students were incredibly engaged; as a result, the class lasted for almost 11 hours. The questions were technically very advanced and indicated a wonderful level of interest.

    Bogota was a wonderful experience in itself.  Founded by the Spanish Conquistadores in 1538, the old part of the city looks and feels like a medieval Spanish city. …Read More