News + Science from the Engineers of the Surface Analyst


    Real-time data.

    New industry buzzword?

    Or a new generation of process and quality control?

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  • film - manufacturing adhesion problems

    “We didn’t even know we were having process problems.”

    It’s an all-too-common phrase we hear from our customers, when they realize the level of understanding available to them now in their manufacturing operation.

    Simply put, you can’t solve an adhesion problem that doesn’t exist, and we’re willing to bet that it does.

    • How do manufacturers go about finding these hidden, but massively impactful, manufacturing problems that exist in adhesion-related processes?

    Sure enough, it’s a process.

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  • Incoming! What’s that sound?

    That’s the sound of manufacturers not having a supplier specification created for incoming materials in their operation.

    It’s like the old piece of wisdom: You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from.

    While we’re not exactly sure who said it, it applies exactly to what’s needed when it comes to covering your bases from an incoming materials standpoint.

    …Read More

  • When most of us think of gold, we think of watches, rings, necklaces and even teeth.

    For electronics manufacturer’s, gold is one of the highest quality and most electrically conductive materials used in electrical component manufacturing.

    In order to best perform its golden duty as a conductor of electricity, the thin wire must make intimate contact with the circuit board itself. Without this connection, failure is inevitable.

    A recent customer and manufacturer of microelectronic components needed a way to guarantee that the bonds created between the gold wire they were using in their microprocessors was maximally bonded to the gold-plated palladium bond pad. Were they able to achieve this?

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  • fda approval for medical devices

    “We’re manufacturing catheters, but currently we don’t have a reliable way to prove to the FDA that our plasma treatment process is effective and in control”

    It’s no surprise that manufacturing in the medical world carries with it a unique level of responsibility.

    The comfort and safety of patients is directly related to the quality of products that come out of medical manufacturing operations, and the FDA mandates manufacturers meet strict validation standards in order to sell their products.

    So when a manufacturer’s only option is assuming their process is adequate, the outlook is cloudy at best…

    …Read More



    At the end of this month, an opportunity that comes only once a year will be coming to the AeroDef Manufacturing Conference, March 26-29 in Huntington, CA.

    What opportunity are we talking about?

    None other than seeing Giles Dillingham, our CTO & Chief Scientist here at BTG Labs speak on Quality and Consistency of Plasma Treatment on Composites.

    So, who’s going to AeroDef?

    Use this link to register for the seminar to receive a free exhibits-only pass and save 10% on conference registration!

    Also, be sure to stop by the BTG Labs’ and Abaris Booth #640 to meet the BTG Labs team and see live demonstrations of the Surface Analyst.

    We look forward to seeing you there!



    The quality of a process should be left up to chance.

    This is commonly the approach that has been taken by manufacturers when working to control their adhesion preparation processes. However, this is due to no fault of their own.

    In the past, the approach to gaining this understanding was largely, up in the air, but we’re here to finally bring the clarity and focus that manufacturers have been searching for.

    Our customer in this Surface Story, who similar to our last story also happens to be from the aerospace industry, gained exactly that: focus and clarity around their pre-adhesion processing.

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  • When it comes to preparing raw materials for adhesion in manufacturing, optimizing the level of surface preparation is directly related to achieving the highest quality final product.

    Under-preparing a surface, or over-preparing a surface both mean sub-par adhesion when it comes time to bond, coat, print, seal or paint.

    The first story in our new series, Surface Stories, pertains to over-processing, when a recent customer in the aerospace industry was sure they were helping to make their aluminum surface “cleaner.” The Surface Analyst, however, showed otherwise.

    …Read More

  • The desktop goniometer is a widely-used and accepted method of obtaining surface energy measurements of materials in the lab setting.

    For those unfamiliar, the goniometer uses the “profile-view method,” with water contact angle obtained optically as viewed from the side.

    This method effectively only measures two-points of the droplet.

    When it comes to low water contact angles, engineers, quality managers and operators alike need to be aware of the problems that arise in using this method.

    …Read More


    On Friday, February 2nd, current University of Cincinnati materials science & engineering graduate students and faculty will have the opportunity to hear one of their fellow alumni speak.

    Dr. Giles Dillingham, having earned his Ph. D. in Materials Science from U.C. in 1987, has been invited to speak at numerous top conferences in the materials science community. He’s widely known for his ability to effectively communicate technical topics with enthusiasm in simple and practical terms.

    An avid classic motorcycle enthusiast who also enjoys working restoring and riding vintage bicycles, Giles welcomed the opportunity to speak at his alma mater.

    Giles is the CEO and Chief Scientist of BTG Labs, which Giles founded in the late 1990’s and performs a wide range of both basic and applied research, with a primary focus being adhesion, surface, and interface analysis.

    Starting in 2000, Giles and the BTG Labs team collectively created the Surface Analyst, the first practical handheld instrument for objectively quantifying the surface energy of almost any surface using water contact angle.

    His presentation, Understanding and Controlling the Bond Surface in Manufacturing for Reliable Adhesive Bonding, will be happening this Friday, February 2nd from 2:30 pm – 3:25 pm in Zimmer Hall, Room 413, at the University of Cincinnati.  The event is open to the public.