Coatings & Specialty Chemicals

What’s on the Surface Matters

New products are made possible by the engineered properties at the surface of materials. Improved corrosion resistance, extended service life through wear, or cost reduction (coating vs. bulk) are hallmarks of successful coating application and material selection.

Our coatings testing laboratories and chemical analysis lab help our clients solve manufacturing and performance challenges encountered when:

  • Implementing reliable coating processes, including surface preparation, raw material quality, variable optimization
  • Selecting materials based on service characteristics
  • Investigating warranty claims
  • Determining root cause failure

Selected Examples of Coating Services

Our scientists – with expertise in materials science, organic chemistry, biology, physics – use surface science instrumentation (XPS, Raman, HRSTEM, HRSEM, etc.) in our coatings testing laboratories and chemical analysis lab to provide the scientific insight that our clients value.

  • Paints of all kinds in all applications: quality assessment, pigment identification and distribution evaluation, forensic investigations, accelerated life testing
  • Graphene coatings on microelectronic components, interconnects, and implantable devices
  • Geopolymers on fire-resistant coating materials, concrete structures exposed to marine environments, structures coated to prevent graffiti
  • Corrosion resistant coating evaluation, accelerated life testing/remaining life assessment, corrosion product analysis
  • Coatings on steel, stainless steel, aluminum, concrete, brick or plastic in building materials
  • Metal film thickness of aluminum and copper on capacitors and silicon wafers
  • Thin film layered device compositional and physical characteristics
  • Silicone coatings on “release” applications such as cookware, mold makings, and adhesive-backed paper
  • Metallized films used in food packaging and for decorative purposes
  • Oxide layer thickness for stainless steels

Coating Technology Spotlight – Raman Spectroscopy

In the coating process, the amount and uniformity of the coating applied influences the stability and performance of the product. We use surface techniques such as x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy (Raman) to analyze the coatings. For non-destructive, microscopic, chemical analysis and imaging when detailed chemical images are required, Raman is our preferred method. Raman images provide information on individual chemical components, polymorphs, and variations in crystallinity.

Examples of Raman Applications

  • Non-invasive, quantitative monitoring of tablet and pellet coatings
  • Direct chemical evidence
  • Permits more control of the coating process to ensure quality and stability
  • Structural data to determine material quality including diameter, morphology, and orientation of carbon nano-tubes, nanorods, nanowires and coatings.
Carbon Compounds
  • Graphite and graphene – Distinguishes between single and multiple layers of graphene
  • Diamond coatings – Assesses quality of diamond coatings and detects stress/strain and impurities
  • Amorphous carbon and carbon fillers
Paper Manufacture
  • Quantifies non-uniform distribution of pigments and binders in the spatial composition of the coating
  • Determines crystal lattice, crystal orientation, stress/strain and non-uniformity in silicon wafers, germanium on silicon, gallium arsenide and other semiconductor materials
  • Accommodates aqueous samples

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