BTG Labs (Cincinnati, OH, US) has introduced the Surface Analyst, a handheld solution for use in the field, in the lab and on the factory floor. In 2 seconds, the Surface Analyst measures the cleanliness level of a surface and determines if it is properly prepared for adhesion. The Surface Analyst is designed to replace legacy methods such as dyne and water break tests. Surface Analyst deposits a highly purified drop of water on the surface and measures the contact angle. This, in turn, determines the cleanliness level of a substrate. When a surface is clean, it emits high energy and water, as a high-energy molecule, spreads out on the surface as it is attracted to other high-energy molecules. A contaminated surface emits low energy and will cause water to bead up in attraction to itself rather than the low-energy surface molecules. By knowing the volume and area of a drop of water, the contact angle of the water against a given surface can be determined.
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This technology was co-developed by Metis Design Corp. and the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.