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Inline process control of wettability by means of contact angle measurement on moving surfaces

Ming Jin, Dr. Thomas Willers, Krüss GmbH


Contact angle measurement has completed the step from the test laboratory into the production hall with regard to quality assurance for the cleaning and pretreatment of surfaces. This has been made possible thanks to the development of fast and mobile measuring technologies. We go even further with this feasibility study and show a way for the potential use of contact angle measurements as a test method for uninterrupted inline process controls. Two recent innovations from KRÜSS open up this perspective: the extremely fast Liquid Needle technique that enables contact angle measurements on moving samples and the ADVANCE API software interface with which the integration of fully automatic analyses is possible in any complex information systems.


Materials are subjected to surface treatment in many production processes, in order to prepare these for further processing steps. Typical examples here include the cleaning of surfaces before bonding or plasma treatment of a polymer in order to activate it for subsequent coating and thus achieve the best possible wettability and adhesion. As wetting is reflected directly by the contact angle, measuring the contact angle is an excellent way of testing the efficacy of such pretreatment methods.

Pretreatment is often carried out on samples that are continuously moving. Until now the inline control of such dynamic processes was not possible for the following two reasons:

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