Tag Archives: flame treatment

  • Plastics manufacturers are all too familiar with the challenges of bonding thermoplastics. Last week, BTG Labs successfully hosted a webinar with Plastics Technology to discuss improving bonding of thermoplastics. The webinar, entitled “Understanding Surface Energy: How to Measure and Control the Surface Properties of Thermoplastics to Maximize Adhesion,” brought in almost 400 registrants.

    Presented byBTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham who discussed the surface characteristics of thermoplastics. Dr. Dillingham also explored surface treatment processes such as flame, corona, and plasma, and ways to monitor and verify those processes. The ability to understand and measure the surface precisely is the key to successfully bonding thermoplastics.

    This table shows the relationship between low surface energy and relative interfacial toughness. While thermoplastics are highly durable, they cause difficulties in bonding because of their low surface energy.

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  • Every plastics manufacturer knows that bonding low energy thermoplastics can be challenging. In the upcoming webinar hosted by Plastics Technology, BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will discuss practical ways to improve bonding of thermoplastics more reliably and efficiently.

    Dr. Dillingham will discuss the nature of thermoplastic surfaces and how the manipulation of various surface treatment processes—flame, corona, and plasma—make or break a surface. The webinar will discuss how the Surface Analyst uses water contact angle measurements to lend imperative insight into surface energy and in turn, hone in on the necessary treatment level for a higher quality, more consistent manufacturing process. After all, the most expensive surface treatment is nothing without an in-place monitoring process. …Read More

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  • Roosevelt University, Image by Chicago Tribune

    Roosevelt University, a liberal arts college in the Loop of downtown Chicago perfectly contrasts antiquated and contemporary architecture. Roosevelt’s first venue, constructed in 1889 just in time for the World Fair, is 17 floors of beautiful Art Nouveau structure. The Auditorium Building encompasses ornate railings and scaffolding, topping off with a regal library and a lofty tower overlooking Grant Park. However, because of its age, the Auditorium Building demands constant attention and is inefficient in the frigid Chicago winters and hazy summers.

    Their new building, the Wabash Building, erected in 2012 is just the opposite. Its 32 towering floors of curved glass superintends the Auditorium Building, arriving amongst the structural giants of Chicago. Illustrating the epitome of modern design, this highly efficient, state of the art structure is LEED certified.

    When looking up at the two buildings, old charm vs new-age sleek, the phrase comes to mind: they just don’t make things like they used to. But, there’s necessity behind this. As the global population rises, infrastructure becomes denser, and resources become scarce, engineers concentrate on building smarter. Designing a building that spares no expense—in terms of efficiency in operation and manufacturing of these smarter materials—is pivotal. This all begins in the research and development lab and extends to the manufacturing floor. Materials and processes are developed to allow for more efficiency in both the production of materials and the final construction. Guaranteeing bonds will hold; paint, print, and coatings will stick; seals will persevere; and cleaning processes will clean effectively is crucial to manufacturing a product that will withstand stresses of any structure.

    That is why more and more manufacturers are turning to the Surface Analyst™. This hand-held instrument ensures any surface is ready for effective bonding, coating, cleaning, sealing, printing, or painting. The ability to verify and quantify critical surface processes on the manufacturing floor is the keystone to efficient manufacturing and smarter structures.

    A high-grade window manufacturer, for example, uses the Surface Analyst to verify plasma treatment on vinyl window frames prior to sealing. This guarantees the windows will efficiently heat or cool a structure while also withstanding the elements of rain, wind, and snow. …Read More

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  • Image by Cincinnati Reds via Cincinnati Business Courier 

    It’s Opening Day in Cincinnati, Ohio! Now this isn’t just any season opener, Opening Day in Cincinnati is an unofficial city holiday. Downtown is painted red as people gather for the 98th Opening Day Parade and celebrations around town. Offices slow down and desks are empty in schools. Today, Cincinnatians are gearing up for the hometown Reds’ game against the Phillies. We don our red, grab our game day snacks, and pray for fair weather.

     

    Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks

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  • Surface Analyst Inspection on Engine Casing

    Manufacturers working with metal are all too familiar with the obstacles that come along with coating, painting, bonding, printing, or sealing it. While the uses of metal in manufacturing are countless and exist in numerous industries, the common denominator is ensuring the appropriate surface cleanliness prior to surface critical processes to guarantee successful adhesion. Common surface cleanliness gauges—dyne inks and water break—are subjective and do not offer quantitative results. Water break can be messy and time consuming and dyne is destructive to the part and dangerous to the user. While these methods can offer some insight into surface cleanliness, they are less than ideal.

    BTG Labs Surface Analyst is a fast, easy, accurate, and non-destructive surface cleanliness gauge that tells the user right on the manufacturing floor how prepared the surface is to bond. This hand-held instrument improves surface processes and guarantees a bond will stick. Numerous manufacturers in industries such as consumer goods, automotive, and aerospace, have implemented the Surface Analyst in their specifications to improve their critical metal surface processes. …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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  • Consumer Goods

    Golf BallThe world of consumer goods is highly diverse so consequently, manufacturing processes are even more varied. From golf clubs to paints to windows to solar panels, consumer goods products face a variety of stresses in the field that can include moisture, impact, contaminants, and environmental stresses. Manufacturers must produce a product to withstand those stresses. BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™ can do just that. It is a versatile, handheld, accurate, easy to use instrument that can cut down on failure and waste and ensure surfaces are properly prepared to create the strongest bonds whether its coating, printing, painting, sealing, or cleaning. The Surface Analyst measures, monitors, and guarantees from the lab to the factory floor.

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  • conPolymers are some of the most common base materials used in automotive parts. Polypropelenes, Polyolefins, and ABS plastics are used in dashboards, door panels, bumper fascias, liftgates, sensors, and increasingly exterior doors and fenders. A polymer is a low surface energy material that typically needs some form of surface processing prior to bonding an assembly, encapsulating a sensor, painting an interior control knob or an exterior bumper fascia. These materials also tend to show high contamination with mold releases that can be tough to remove and will essentially guarantee unsuccessful adhesion or coating.

    There are a variety of surface processing methods used in the industry to help remove contamination and increase the surface energy of these polymer materials. These processes include flame treatment, plasma treatment, corona treatment, and solvent wiping. Another option is to utilize specialty paints and adhesives that tolerate lower energy substrates. There are pitfalls, however, to implementing any of these methods that manufacturers need to be aware of. Understanding the nature of these surface-critical systems is the only way to guarantee success in the final result. Control of the inputs means predictability and control of the output.

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  • Ballistic Deposition

    The Surface Analyst uses Ballistic Deposition to deposit water on diverse surfaces to measure contact angle.

    Fluid Deposition Style of Contact Angle Measurements

     

    Measuring the contact angle of a fluid on a surface provides an accurate reading of surface energy. However, methods of depositing the droplet and measuring the contact angle vary. With this sensitive process, every detail and particularity effects the measurement.

    Common surface measurement instruments, such as goniometers, use an automated syringe needle to deposit a single drop of fluid. However, the manner in which the drop of fluid is deposited greatly impacts the contact angle and entails precise control. Furthermore, the composition of fluid used effects the measurement and potentially the surface.

    Alternative fluids can be dangerous to the user and contamination to the material. This often requires the use of a coupon, or sample rather than a measurement on the actual surface of the material in question. Furthermore, a single drop does not have the ability to measure on diverse surfaces.

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  • A reliable way to verify surface cleanliness for automotive manufacturers

    Automotive manufacturers who bond, seal, coat, paint, or print now have a reliable way to verify the cleanliness of their surface.

    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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