News + Science from the Engineers of the Surface Analyst
Plastics are ubiquitous a material as they come, and there is nary an industry that does not utilize them in an adhesion application; medical device, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and flexible film and packaging industries all exploit the versatility of polymers in manufacturing. Take a closer look at medical device and automotive industries and you’ll find that the same polypropylene used to make car bumpers in the automotive is also used to make life-saving implantable medical devices.
Polymers are generally chemically stable materials. While this is a desirable quality for other purposes, it is the industry’s greatest challenge to overcome for adhesion applications (coating, bonding, printing, priming and painting). In order for these materials to adhere successfully they have to undergo some type of surface activation process, like plasma treatment. This process will impart chemically reactive groups on the surface and increase chemical reactivity. This reactivity is a quantifiable material property called surface energy. Plasma treatment is a convenient, cost effective means of achieving surface activation of polymers. Before the plasma treatment can accomplish the proper activation of the surface, the chemistry of the polymer must be considered.
This week BTG Labs and Plasmatreat got together to co-present a webinar that de-mystifies plasma treatment as it relates to polymer chemistry.
Understanding surface state at each manufacturing step will allow you to gain complete control over your surface treatment and bonding operation. Here at BTG Labs, we provide a process control check that quantifies that surface state with a simple number.
Control the process, control the number, control the product.
This Tuesday, December 11 at 2pm EST we’ll be partnering with Plasmatreat, a developer of surface treatment systems, to present a webinar hosted by Plastics Technology magazine. Dr. Giles Dillingham, BTG Labs’ CEO and Chief Scientist, and Khoren Sahagian, Chief Process Engineer and Applications Manager to Plasmatreat USA, will discuss the relationship between polymer chemistry and the development of optimal plasma treatment recipes. Plasma treatment is the cutting-edge surface processing technique of polymers for critical adhesion applications. It is increasingly crucial to know how to control this process, know how the chemistry of your surface will affect the treatment and know your target number before and after treatment. Click on the title below to register:
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
1. Basic understanding of parameters that affect plasma treatment of polymers
2. Knowledge of the effects of plasma treatment on polymer surface
3. Basic skills in developing and evaluating plasma treatment processes
4. Tools for controlling plasma treatment processes, in the lab and manufacturing
If you have any questions about surface treatment and unforeseen contaminants that may be interfering with your adhesion process, bring them to the webinar for the Q&A at the end. You can also contact us using the form below and ask about scheduling your free process walk to discover your Critical Control Points and gain total surface quality control.
BTG Labs’ CEO and Lead Scientist, Dr. Giles Dillingham and Research and Development Chemist, Brooke Campbell recently collaborated with NASA scientists and researchers from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia on an article published in the journal of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.
The article covers research into the sensitivity of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and how it compares to x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to detect and measure surface silicone contamination.
When a material begins its journey through a manufacturing process it becomes crucial to know and control everything that happens to that material as it makes its way down the line. There are two major factors to consider when understanding and controlling what happens to the surface of that material: the actual physical space of the warehouse and the time it takes to get through the entire process of being bonded, coated, painted, sealed, glued or printed. If you don’t know precisely what is occurring at each Critical Control Point and you don’t continually monitor the surface throughout the duration of the process, you could be trending towards adhesion failure and not even know it.
Ever wonder what a hungry BTG Process Engineer is pondering while preparing the turkey for the feast of gratitude to be shared around the Thanksgiving table? The sharp minds at BTG Labs are ever vigilant in the quest for a surface state properly prepared for the task at hand; whether that be parylene conformal coating, interfacial bonding of composites, catheter coating, or turkey roasting. For the application (turkey) to be a success (taste good) there are Critical Control Points that must be closely monitored throughout the process (roasting up the bird).
What is a Critical Control Point?
A Critical Control Point (CCP) is any point in the manufacturing process where the surface condition of a material has the opportunity to change—intentionally or unintentionally—and impact adhesion, in a positive or negative way.
Why should you care about them?
This article was co-written by Elizabeth Kidd, BTG Labs’ Custom Applications Scientist and Research and Development Chemist.
Coating and adhesive bonding are extremely common manufacturing process steps. It may seem obvious, but to ensure success in these applications, surfaces must be properly cleaned or manufacturers run the risk of bonding and coating failures. Simple enough, but if that’s all there is to it then why do failures in these applications still occur?
What does it actually mean to have a clean surface?
The wait is finally over. Making its world debut at MD&M in Minneapolis, the Surface Analyst XA integrates the power, simplicity and ease of our handheld Surface Analyst directly into the manufacturing process. Now, the most precise surface monitoring technology will seamlessly unify with any production line, magnifying the speed and efficiency of surface quality control.
Autumnal vibes have landed at BTG Labs and along with football-watching, apple-picking, Halloween costume-planning we have an array of opportunities for you to interact with us and learn more about the Surface Analyst.