Tag Archives: plasma
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
The history of BTG Labs is rooted in adhesion research. Originally a development lab, BTG Labs specialized in plasma polymerized coatings. The engineers worked with coatings containing corrosion resistant and anti-microbial properties. BTG Labs worked to improve adhesives and surface treatment processes. This brought about the Surface Analyst and today, BTG Labs still utilizes its twenty plus years of Materials Science expertise to assist manufacturers in understanding how the Surface Analyst fits into their production process and how their surfaces affect the overall manufacturing processes.
As an innovative and investigative materials science company, BTG Labs boasts a highly sophisticated lab with several analytical instruments. BTG Labs not only produces the ideal surface measurement device, but it can help develop surface preparation processes, trouble shoot existing surface sensitive processes, and diagnose surface chemistries.
Knowing Your Surface
Surface chemistry directly relates to surface energy and can predict a surface’s ability to maintain a bond. Thus, when developing or remodeling surface processes, knowing the chemistry of one’s surface is a good starting point. Our X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) uses X-Rays in an ultra-high vacuum system to provide elemental information of specific surface chemistry. Sensitive to the top two molecular layers of a surface, the XPS reveals to the customer exactly what is on the surface of their product.
The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), another powerful technique utilized for surface analysis, uses infrared light to detect the presence of functional groups on the surface of your material. It is also capable of coating characterization (i.e. liquid films, contaminant residue, coupling agents etc.). With specular reflectance, attenuated total reflectance (ATR), transmission, and diffuse reflectance accessories, BTG Labs is equipped to analyze a vast array of materials and surfaces.
Higher Performance Materials Call for Higher Demand of Quality
In the automotive industry, there is a constant focus on higher performance materials that provide more with less — better strength, better fuel economy, and better durability at the expense of weight and cost.
What manufacturers once produced in steel and iron they now make in aluminum. Furthermore, manufacturers are increasingly replacing aluminum with composite. Whether it is a car roof, hood, trunk lid, intake manifold, or dashboard, automotive manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of what they thought was possible for material performance.
New materials require new coatings, new adhesives, and new paints. And all of these require new process solutions to guarantee an ever-increasing demand of quality.
A major challenge has been the need to shift to a higher performance material that requires bonding, coating, sealing, painting, or printing. These materials often have more stringent processing specifications to get similar adhesive performance. …Read More
Controlling Surface Condition in FIPG Application
Increasingly, FIPG processes are replacing traditional gaskets for a variety of automotive applications such as air filters, oil filters, door panels, and external engine parts. The advantages include cheaper material cost, higher throughput capability, ability for assembly at the supplier, and greater control over sealing processes. These advantages, however, come with processing challenges that the manufacturer must take into account; namely the surface of the part they are sealing.
Within the automotive industry, a common FIPG application is RTV (room-temperature-vulcanization). Defining and controlling surface condition prior to applying an RTV silicone sealant is critical for a successful seal. Variables such as inadequate cleaning, over-used washing fluid, excess oil contamination, and poor handling can wreak havoc on an RTV application process. This can lead to rework, customer complaints, and warranty claims after the customer purchases the product. So how does an OEM or supplier design and control an appropriate FIPG process that will be successful?
A Deep History in Materials Science
President and Chief Scientist of BTG Labs, Dr. Giles Dillingham’s fascination by the connections between the invisible (the molecular structure of the world around us) and the perceivable (the properties and behavior of materials and objects) stems from a very early age.
It wasn’t until he had nearly completed a degree in biology that he discovered the field of study that formalizes this broad interdisciplinary subject: Materials Science. After finding this new specialty, he went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1987. He used advanced surface analytical tools to demonstrate the ability of surfaces to profoundly influence the molecular structure of adhesives at the interface. …Read More