Tag Archives: manufacturing

  • coating adhesion test

    Preparing a Ship Hull for Coating and Painting

    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.

    It all starts at the surface. …Read More

  • surface quality control

    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.

    …Read More

  • anti fog coating on headlights

    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.

    …Read More

  • 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.

    …Read More

  • 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

  • BTG Labs is gearing up for Earth Day; after all, we proudly manufacture an instrument that is valuable in a variety of industries from aerospace, automotive, packaging, and even renewable energy. It’s also pretty eco-friendly.

    The Surface Analyst™ improves the manufacture of renewable energy equipment including solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars. BTG Labs also works with start-up companies creating brand new technologies for renewable energy. The Surface Analyst measures water contact angle to ensure that surfaces are ready to bond and withstand environmental stresses without failing. Its precision, portability, and ease-of-use allows for its implementation on the manufacturing floor as well as in the field for repairs and maintenance.

    Technicians use it for repairs on wind turbines in the field; solar panel manufacturers value its precision when bonding dissimilar materials to withstand weathering; and electric car companies use it to guarantee paints, bonds, seals, and coatings will stick reliably. New applications for improving renewable energy manufacturing using the Surface Analyst reveal themselves constantly.

    Cleaner Manufacturing 

     

    The Surface Analyst also contributes to conservation in every manufacturing field. Because it offers manufacturers precision and is non-destructive, it cuts down significantly on waste material. The Surface Analyst replaces dyne inks which hold harsh chemicals—including teratogenic chemicals—that are hazardous to the user and the environment. Because of this, dyne cannot be used to test on the actual material and often requires a coupon of the material that has been cut off or specifically designated for testing, off the assembly line. Dyne is also highly subjective and leads to inconsistencies in manufacturing, causing rework and failures, which in turn, means more waste. On the other hand, the Surface Analyst uses highly purified water so it’s completely harmless to both the user, the part, and the environment. A win for both the manufacturer and the planet. …Read More

  • Manufacturers are all too familiar with the challenges of getting a bond to stick and hold. The success of a bond relies on the surface created prior to that bond, so, monitoring and measuring surface processes is the only way to know that the surface is ready to bond reliably.

    BTG Labs’ President Tom McLean and Sales Engineer Lucas Dillingham presented during Plasmatreat’s Open House on the 4 Surface Fundamentals for Successful Bonding in Manufacturing. They presented to industry leaders who can easily relate to bonding and cleaning issues. The presentation was such a success that BTG Labs decided to turn it into a webinar.

    Challenges with establishing a strong, reliable bond, when painting, coating, sealing, or printing are tied into the surface preparation process and the ability to monitor that process. This presentation focuses on the bond surface and what it takes to bond properly to that surface. There is also a comparison of various cleaning methods using contact angles taken with the Surface Analyst.

    While other monitoring processes such as dyne and water break fail to provide quantitative insight, monitoring cleaning processes with the precise and quantitative Surface Analyst tells the user, objectively, whether the surface is properly prepared to hold a reliable bond. …Read More

  • This week, BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will be co-hosting a booth and presenting a 3-hour long workshop with BTG Labs’ valued partner, Louis (Lou) Dorworth, Direct Services Manager at Abaris Training Resources, Inc.

    Louis C. (Lou) Dorworth Division Mgr.-Direct Services Abaris Training Resources, Inc. Reno, Nevada – USA

    As a specialist in the field of advanced composite materials and processes since 1978, Lou offers extensive information that he uses to educate the composite industry. His experience includes research and development, materials and process engineering, tool engineering/design, and tool fabrication.

    BTG Labs sat down with Louis to discuss his expectations for AeroDef 2017.

    What do you think about the latest in composite technology? What’s standing out?

    Composite technology is changing at a rapid pace as process methodologies and applications broaden across all industries.  Nano-fortified polymers and composites show much promise for enhancing structural properties in both adhesives and laminate structures.

    What can attendees expect to leave with after your workshop with Dr. Giles Dillingham?

    Attendees can expect to learn the key methods and techniques to achieving robust and durable adhesively bonded joints in composite structures.  They will have a much better understanding of both the practical and scientific factors that contribute to a successful adhesive bond.

    What are some issues faced by users when attempting to bond or repair composites?

    The primary issues involve controlling and verifying the integrity of the prepared composite surface, the environmental conditions that exist where the bonding takes place, the control of the adhesives so that they are not exposed to adverse conditions, and achieving a proper cure in the adhesive. …Read More

  • BTG Labs at AeroDef 2017

    by Emily Walsh February 2017

    AeroDef Manufacturing 2017  is the pivotal event for world leaders of the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. BTG Labs is excited to exhibit, speak, and teach a course at the conference held March 6-9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. BTG Labs Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will present on his paper “Understanding and Controlling the Bond Surface in Manufacturing for Reliable Adhesive Bonding of Composites.” This presentation delves into the challenges and logistics of adhering to composites and how to create the desired bond surface. Furthermore, Dr. Dillingham will discuss common industry practices in surface preparation and surface verification.

    Dr. Dillingham will also teach a 3-hour workshop during the conference with Louis Dorworth of Abaris. Their course entitled, “Fundamentals of Adhesive Bonding of Composite Materials” focuses on basic bonding requirements of composites, goals of surface preparation, things to avoid when preparing composite surfaces, and varying surface preparation methods. BTG Labs will also share a booth with Abaris. At booth 705 BTG Labs will demonstrate the Surface Analyst™, the hand-held water contact angle measurement device that determines a surface’s readiness to bond.

    Register here for this exciting event in the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry.

  •  aircraft assembly

    Aerospace Applications

    The aerospace industry knows it must meet high specs to create an aircraft that is safe, reliable, and resilient. As aluminum and titanium materials are more often replaced with stronger, lightweight composites, which require adhesive bonds, knowing that bond will stick is pivotal. The strength and success of that adhesive bond depends on properly preparing the composite surface.

    BTG Labs boasts a long-term relationship with the aerospace industry. When the need to create reliable adhesive bonds, BTG Labs received an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) to collaborate with the USAF. This led to the development of the Surface Analyst™. Using water contact angle measurements–a proven way to predict adhesion in aircrafts–the Surface Analyst is the first hand held surface energy measurement device to accurately and precisely measure surface energy in the aerospace industry. The Surface Analyst also played a major role in the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. BTG Labs continues to contribute to the aerospace industry as more applications arise. In two seconds, the Surface Analyst determines a surface’s readiness to bond successfully in a fast, easy, accurate, non-destructive, and quantifiable way.

    …Read More