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ramé-hart Newsletter


November 2023

Leveraging Contact Angle for Quality Assurance: Practical Applications

Contact angle measurement is a valuable tool in quality assurance processes across various industries. It provides valuable insights into the surface properties of materials, which can be critical for ensuring product quality and performance. By measuring the angle at which a liquid droplet interacts with a solid surface, manufacturers and quality control experts can gain a deeper understanding of surface wettability and the effectiveness of coatings, which, in turn, impacts product functionality and durability.

Many ramé-hart customers use contact angle in quality assurance applications. Here is a small sampling:

Coating Quality Assessment: Contact angle measurements are frequently used to evaluate the quality of coatings applied to various products. For instance, in the automotive industry, assessing the contact angle of water droplets on car paint surfaces can help determine the effectiveness of protective coatings. If the contact angle is high, it indicates that water beads up and rolls off, demonstrating good hydrophobic and self-cleaning properties, which are vital for protecting the paint from water damage and corrosion.

Medical Devices: In the healthcare sector, medical devices often require specific surface properties to function effectively. For example, catheters and surgical instruments must have surfaces that repel bodily fluids to prevent contamination. Measuring contact angles on these devices ensures that they meet the necessary surface characteristics to maintain patient safety.

ramé-hart Contact Angle Goniometer Equipped with a Heated Environmental Cell

Pharmaceuticals: Quality control in pharmaceuticals is a critical aspect of drug production. Contact angle measurements can be applied to pharmaceutical tablets, powders, and capsules to assess their wettability, which affects dissolution and absorption rates. Understanding how quickly a tablet dissolves in a liquid can help ensure that medications are effective and consistent.

Electronics: In the electronics industry, the quality of solder joints is crucial for product reliability. By measuring the contact angle of solder flux on printed circuit boards (PCBs), manufacturers can optimize the soldering process. An appropriate contact angle ensures that solder spreads uniformly, creating reliable connections in electronic components.

Semiconductors: Effective cleaning and surface preparation are vital steps in chip fabrication. Contaminants and residues on the wafer's surface can negatively impact the manufacturing process and lead to defects. Contact angle measurements can assess the effectiveness of cleaning and surface treatment processes. High contact angles indicate poor wetting and suggest the presence of contaminants, whereas lower angles indicate proper cleaning and surface activation.

Oil and Gas: In the oil and gas industry, contact angle measurements can help determine the wettability of reservoir rocks. This information is essential for assessing oil recovery efficiency and developing strategies for enhanced oil recovery.

Contact angle measurements have found their place in quality assurance across numerous industries. The list above is no more than a sampling within the universe of applications. By providing insights into surface wettability, these measurements enable manufacturers and quality control experts to make informed decisions about the quality and performance of various products and their coatings. Whether it's evaluating protective coatings on car surfaces, assessing the wettability of pharmaceuticals, or ensuring the cleanliness of wafers during the chip fabrication process, contact angle measurements contribute to product quality, safety, higher yields, and customer satisfaction. The ramé-hart contact angle goniometer continues to play a vital role in maintaining and enhancing quality standards in a wide range of industries.

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Carl Clegg
Director of Sales
Phone 973-448-0305
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