Posts by Emily Walsh
During this holiday season, BTG Labs reflects on another great year.
In 2017, the team grew by 53%, expanding almost every department with new, talented members.
Throughout the year, BTG Labs has kept busy, traveling coast to coast for trade shows and conferences in industries ranging from film and flexible packaging to medical device and globally for visits to both new and existing customers.
The new website, BTGLabs.com is heavier with content and new pages including a Services page featuring the Process Development Packages and the popular Extended Care Plan; and the Shop page for purchasing Surface Analyst accessories such as battery packs, water cartridges, AC adaptors, and Performance Verification Check Surface (PVCS) cards. The new pages allow Surface Analyst users to more efficiently order accessories or attain BTG Labs services to ensure all instruments are running seamlessly.
Last week, BTG Labs exhibited and presented at the largest composites show and conference: CAMX 2017. Despite a set-back due to Hurricane Irma, causing the date to be rescheduled from September to December, the show attracted a large turn out with hundreds of industry specialists to exchange the latest in composite innovation.
As manufacturers of the fast, easy, accurate, and hand-held Surface Analyst that is used widely in the composites industry, CAMX is a show that BTG Labs anticipates every year.
BTG Labs Sales Engineer Paul McLean, who hosted a booth alongside Sales Engineer Alex Bien, reflects on the event: …Read More
Manufacturing a product to withstand the environmental stresses of wind, rain, and sediment is challenging enough. But, when you add saltwater and wave action to the mix, the detrimental threat of corrosion increases significantly. A coating adhesion test is important for quickly testing a surface before spending hours of work, coating and painting the hull just to find out that the surface lacks the adhesive quality enough to withstand the elements.
Anti-corrosive or anti-fouling coatings and protective paints serve to protect ships against those environmental threats.
But, the coating or paint is only as strong as its adhesive quality. If the adhesion fails, the coating or paint chips and the ship becomes vulnerable to corrosion. Failures in the field can be both costly and dangerous.
Ensuring quality adhesion is the key to guaranteeing successful protection. But, how can quality adhesion be achieved? A proper coating adhesion test should be done beforehand to gauge the surface preparedness before painting or coating occurs.
In some industries–including film and flexible packaging–dyne is the primary language. BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst uses water contact angle measurements as a fast easy, objective, and non-destructive alternative to dyne inks.
The main concern we hear from manufacturers is that both the suppliers and the customers speak dyne as their standard.
The answer is the Surface Analyst’s Dyne Mode. This unique feature takes the Surface Analyst’s default contact angle measurement and automatically converts the measurement into a dyne/cm readout, directly on the instrument. This mode allows manufacturers to maintain their investment in the dyne measurement language.
BTG Labs believes in dyne measurements, but not dyne inks. Manufacturers using dyne inks struggle with inaccuracy and subjectivity, leaving much room for error. Furthermore, because of dyne inks’ destructive nature, users can’t measure on the actual part. This leaves dyne inks virtually impossible for testing the part on the factory floor. …Read More
Of all the challenges manufacturers face, creating and optimizing critical surface processes for various materials can be very difficult. Traits such as location, size, shape, and texture can add to the challenge. The success of any critical surface process requires an in-line, fast, easy, and accurate verification method.
That’s why more and more manufacturers are turning to the Surface Analyst. Whether it’s bonding, painting, printing, cleaning, coating, or sealing, BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst optimizes critical surface processes and monitors surface treatment on virtually any surface so the product is guaranteed to deliver.
BTG Labs engineered the Surface Analyst to adapt to any application directly on the factory floor. Patented Ballistic Deposition deposits a stream of micro-droplets on the surface; these micro-droplets contain kinetic energy which allows the drops to overcome various textures and different angles without interfering with measurement accuracy. The drop size can also be adjusted so that measurements can be taken on any sized surface from a giant wind turbine to a minuscule medical catheter.
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.
Watch BTG Labs’ latest video and learn how to gain total surface quality control with surface preparation 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.
Watch the latest BTG Labs’ video showing the Surface Analyst’s revolutionary method for optimizing critical surface processes in manufacturing.
This video demonstrates how the Surface Analyst provides total surface quality control for manufacturers who previously had ineffective methods, or no method at all. The instrument’s portability, ease-of-use, intuitive GUI, and rechargeable battery provides a surface cleanliness gauge that verifies surface treatment directly on the factory floor.
Maintaining control of a surface allows the manufacturer to guarantee bonds, paint, and adhesives. The Surface Analyst provides instant quantitative surface cleanliness measurements to verify these bonds will hold reliably.
The competitive nature of the automotive industry requires manufacturers to engineer the ideal product; failures, no matter how small, are unacceptable and can bring heavy consequences.
A particular problem that plagues automobiles is condensation collecting on the inside of headlights. High performance automotives must not only perform well mechanically but must also maintain an exceptional aesthetic. Water droplets condensing on the insides of headlights are unappealing and unacceptable to consumers.
In order to prevent that condensation, manufacturers use an invisible coating on the inside of polycarbonate headlight lenses called anti-fog.
This coating is applied via spray application which can be difficult and inconsistent due to several variables: low energy mold releases left on the surface; environmental contaminants; contaminants from handling; uneven spray application; and incorrect coating solutions.
As the wind energy industry grows—by 2020 it is expected to provide 10% of the nation’s electricity— wind turbine manufacturers must strive for the most reliable and efficient product that operates reliably and seamlessly. Adhesion failures in the field, are unacceptable and even dangerous, but still occur.
Wind turbine manufacturers are making it a priority to overcome adhesion failures in the field and implement ways to ensure repairs only need to be done once. Currently, wind turbine repair is extremely expensive: in most cases, the part must be shipped back to the manufacturing plant for repair. And most importantly, turbine failure could be damaging and dangerous to what could be in the vicinity.
Adhesion failures most often happen due to improper surface treatment prior to adhesion. Optimizing adhesion processes and gaining control of the bond surface guarantees a reliable bond and prevents failures in the field.
As a result, wind turbine manufacturers are turning to the best in surface cleanliness gauges: The Surface Analyst.