Tag Archives: composite
Manufacturers often encounter a similar puzzle, when cleaning invisible contaminants from a surface, how do you know when the surface is clean; how clean is clean enough? This is a common question that manufacturers ask when preparing their surfaces for bonding, coating, sealing, printing or painting. Until now, there hasn’t been an objective and reliable way to answer this question. Successfully cleaning a surface directly correlates to the adhesive ability of the surface. In order to get something to stick reliably the surface must be clean. How we define that parameter is different for a variety of materials.
For example, you clean your car differently than you clean your dishes. Why? Because a car rides on the road through rain, smog, dirt, maybe mud, and the other is a vehicle for your food.
At BTG Labs, our answer to the “clean enough” question is, “Depends on what you’re doing.” There are dozens of critical surface preparation processes that exist for a number of different applications. A handful include:
- Flame treatment on polypropylene bumpers prior to painting
- Plasma treatment on PET catheters prior to coating
- Hand sanding and solvent wiping on aircraft nut plates before adhesively bonding to composite
- Grit-blasting titanium golf clubs in preparation of bonding to composite
- Corona treatment on film for packaging prior to metallization, lamination, or coating
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There’s nothing like arriving at the course on a fresh spring morning. The sun is low, casting long shadows across the green mounds, foggy rays bring hints of warmth, a fresh, dewy smell fills the air, and everything is the most vivid green of the year.
It’s time to get out the bag, polish the clubs, and maybe replace the grips. The courses are meticulously manicured. The weather is warming. It’s spring and we’re in the midst of golf season.
Whether it’s a tournament or a casual round with a buddy, relying on your equipment is reflexive. Although, mishaps do occur—grips slip, shafts bend, and balls lose their print—top golf manufacturers use the Surface Analyst to produce a reliable product that will hold up all season long. …Read More
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It’s the first day of spring. Depending on where you live, this could mean opening the windows, planting seeds, rolling out the motorcycle, and waiting for Opening Day. Here at BTG Labs, we think of spring cleaning. Of course, this usually generates visions of humming vacuums and sloppy mops, but, we see whooshing parts washers and smooth solvent wipes. Why? Well, because our instrument, the Surface Analyst is a significant player in the cleaning game.
The Surface Analyst is the keystone to verifying, troubleshooting, monitoring, and even choosing a cleaning process.
A cleaning method is only as useful as it’s verification process. In under two seconds, the Surface Analyst measures water contact angle to determine surface cleanliness. The instrument can be programmed to produce a pass/fail result based on the manufacturer’s specifications. This is an easy, objective method that immediately assures the technician of the surface cleaning process.
Furthermore the Surface Analyst can be used to choose the most efficient cleaning method and optimize existing cleaning methods. Sometimes a particular solvent is more effective than another or the water in a parts washer becomes dirty. The Surface Analyst helps detect these elements to ensure the process is running flawlessly.
Lastly, the Surface Analyst helps manufacturers choose the best cleaning method for their manufacturing process. In most scenarios, the only way to test a cleaning process is in the field or the laboratory. This is time consuming and causes failures and waste. The Surface Analyst, on the other hand, tells the user right on the factory floor, whether or not the part has been properly cleaned to bond, print, seal, coat, or paint without out wasting time or material. …Read More
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This week, BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will be co-hosting a booth and presenting a 3-hour long workshop with BTG Labs’ valued partner, Louis (Lou) Dorworth, Direct Services Manager at Abaris Training Resources, Inc.
As a specialist in the field of advanced composite materials and processes since 1978, Lou offers extensive information that he uses to educate the composite industry. His experience includes research and development, materials and process engineering, tool engineering/design, and tool fabrication.
BTG Labs sat down with Louis to discuss his expectations for AeroDef 2017.
What do you think about the latest in composite technology? What’s standing out?
Composite technology is changing at a rapid pace as process methodologies and applications broaden across all industries. Nano-fortified polymers and composites show much promise for enhancing structural properties in both adhesives and laminate structures.
What can attendees expect to leave with after your workshop with Dr. Giles Dillingham?
Attendees can expect to learn the key methods and techniques to achieving robust and durable adhesively bonded joints in composite structures. They will have a much better understanding of both the practical and scientific factors that contribute to a successful adhesive bond.
What are some issues faced by users when attempting to bond or repair composites?
The primary issues involve controlling and verifying the integrity of the prepared composite surface, the environmental conditions that exist where the bonding takes place, the control of the adhesives so that they are not exposed to adverse conditions, and achieving a proper cure in the adhesive. …Read More
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Flame treatment is a surface treatment process used to chemically modify a surface for better adhesion. This process is typically used on low energy surfaces that can be difficult to adhere to, such as plastics and composites. The treatment is also very gentle, posing low risk to the material. Flame treatment uses a carefully controlled blend of natural gas and air to create a hot, oxygen rich plasma. First, the heat removes contaminants. Then, after contaminant removal, the oxygen rich plasma activates the surface by partial oxidation. The result is a clean, high energy surface that is an excellent state for printing, painting, coating, or bonding.
Flame treatment is used in a wide array of industries including film and flexible packaging, consumer goods, automotive, textile, medical device, and even aerospace. Flame treatment may be used on a web or a smaller, specific part. It is especially useful for its uniform treatment and ability to treat diverse materials from cardboard to composites.
A major application for flame treatment is in the treatment of TPO (thermoplastic olefin) automotive parts such as bumper fascia and interior components. Another large application is in the treatment of appliance components and golf balls prior to coating and printing. It is also used extensively on film prior to printing and laminating.
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BTG Labs’ origins are in the research and development of adhesives and coatings, including the development of a corrosion resistant antimicrobial coating–often used in the medical device industry. The Surface Analyst is the ideal surface cleanliness gauge for the medical device industry in that it is completely non-destructive, precise, quantitative, and able to measure on various substrates including rough, convex, and concave surfaces. BTG Labs’ twenty plus years of expertise can assist in the optimization of medical device manufacturing processes to meet the highly-tailored specs of this industry to manufacture more reliable, fail resistant products.
- Layers of silicone wafers prior to bonding
- Sanding and solvent wiping on carbon fiber and titanium for prosthetics
- And identify the presence of detrimental silicone in a bonding step
- Flame treatment on medical devices including catheters
- Plasma treatment on catheters prior to bonding luers
- Surfaces preparations prior to solvent bonding
- Microbial lubricious coating and uniformity on catheters
- Surface cleanliness of stainless, aluminum, titanium, and polymer devices
- Sterilization methods such as ultra-sonic baths and vacuum plasma chambers
- Audit concerns with shelf-life and uniformity of antimicrobial coatings …Read More
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AeroDef Manufacturing 2017 is the pivotal event for world leaders of the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. BTG Labs is excited to exhibit, speak, and teach a course at the conference held March 6-9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. BTG Labs Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will present on his paper “Understanding and Controlling the Bond Surface in Manufacturing for Reliable Adhesive Bonding of Composites.” This presentation delves into the challenges and logistics of adhering to composites and how to create the desired bond surface. Furthermore, Dr. Dillingham will discuss common industry practices in surface preparation and surface verification.
Dr. Dillingham will also teach a 3-hour workshop during the conference with Louis Dorworth of Abaris. Their course entitled, “Fundamentals of Adhesive Bonding of Composite Materials” focuses on basic bonding requirements of composites, goals of surface preparation, things to avoid when preparing composite surfaces, and varying surface preparation methods. BTG Labs will also share a booth with Abaris. At booth 705 BTG Labs will demonstrate the Surface Analyst™, the hand-held water contact angle measurement device that determines a surface’s readiness to bond.
Register here for this exciting event in the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry.
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Higher Performance Materials Call for Higher Demand of Quality
In the automotive industry, there is a constant focus on higher performance materials that provide more with less — better strength, better fuel economy, and better durability at the expense of weight and cost.
What manufacturers once produced in steel and iron they now make in aluminum. Furthermore, manufacturers are increasingly replacing aluminum with composite. Whether it is a car roof, hood, trunk lid, intake manifold, or dashboard, automotive manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of what they thought was possible for material performance.
New materials require new coatings, new adhesives, and new paints. And all of these require new process solutions to guarantee an ever-increasing demand of quality.
A major challenge has been the need to shift to a higher performance material that requires bonding, coating, sealing, painting, or printing. These materials often have more stringent processing specifications to get similar adhesive performance. …Read More
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