Smarter Surface Processes
For over a decade, manufacturers and suppliers have spoken the language of dyne when dealing with surface preparation and treatment verification. Because the process of dyne analysis requires users to interpret the way the ink spreads on a surface, it is highly subjective, making the language of dyne precarious. Even so, what could read as a 42 to one user, could mean a 45 or even a 39 to another user. The varying measurement from one user to another is problematic for data collection and analysis. And, training a user is often very time consuming. Another threat to dyne's accuracy is the fact that when a dyne pen is applied to a surface, the pen tip itself absorbs any contaminants on the test surface and spreads it to other surfaces, thus rendering the ink even more inaccurate over time.
The Language of the Surface Analyst
Conversely, the Surface Analyst is non-subjective and produces a quantifiable measurement in the form of a water contact angle. Unlike dyne, the Surface Analyst is fast, easy, accurate, and non-destructive using only highly purified water to take measurements. Therefore, the Surface Analyst can take measurements on almost any surface.
BTG Labs produced the below figure as part of an examination between wetting tension measurements taken with dyne and contact angle measurements with the Surface Analyst. The figure below contrasts the Surface Analyst with dyne. The Surface Analyst overcomes all of the downfalls of dyne.
The hurtle for some manufacturers, is to make the switch to this new language. But, contact angle measurements are higher resolution in an objective language that leaves out the possibility of human error. BTG Labs' twenty plus years of experience in material science offers assistance to manufacturers with the transition from dyne inks to the Surface Analyst. BTG Labs can help tailor the Surface Analyst testing process to fit the needs of individual manufacturers. Changing the language from dyne to contact angle brings new protocol—yes—but more importantly higher efficiency and accuracy.
A top window manufacturer implemented the new language of the Surface Analyst as a replacement of dyne. They were using dyne as a way to verify their plasma treatment on the vinyl window frames prior to bonding the glass into the frame. The manufacturer used the Surface Analyst in second application to verify plasma treatment on plastic internal window components. As the efficiency of any structure relies heavily on windows, the bonds holding these windows together must be strong and resilient to environmental elements. However, the manufacturer struggled to create consistent and reliable bonds because the dyne tests were inconsistent and unreliable. Furthermore the dyne was messy, destructive to the part being tested, and too subjective.
As a threatening and even teratogenic chemical, dyne could only be used by male employees, rendering the assembly process inefficient. Whenever a female employee needed to verify the readiness of their surface to bond, she had to stop and find a male co-worker to do the testing for her, thus greatly interrupting the assembly line. The manufacturer made the switch to the Surface Analyst. They gained a smarter language that is precise, accurate, and completely objective.
The world of surface processes is changing for the better. As we learn more about the science of surfaces, we evolve and gain the ability to better bond, seal, coat, paint, print, and clean. The Surface Analyst is part of that new knowledge that ensures, scientifically and quantifiably, that bonds will hold.