Cincinnati, OH–– The Surface Analyst™ is an innovative handheld solution for measuring how prepared a material surface is for adhesion. Developed and manufactured by BTG Labs, it is a fast, easy, accurate and nondestructive instrument for use by manufacturers with critical surface requirements, including manufacturers of medical tubing, prostheses components and implants.

The Surface Analyst allows manufacturers to validate their surface preparation process and ensure reliable bonding, coating, sealing and printing.

The Surface Analyst deposits a highly purified drop of water on a surface and then measures the contact angle. This, in turn, determines the cleanliness level of a substrate. When a surface is properly prepared, it emits high energy, and the drop of 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 Surface Analyst then calculates the contact angle of the water against a given surface. The larger the contact angle, the more the water is beading up on the surface – and therefore the lower the energy level of the surface, indicating contamination..

Medical Industry Applications.

Medical device manufacturing can directly affect an individual’s health and wellbeing. When a product interacts so intimately with human life, there is no room for failure; the final product must be reliable and of the highest quality in order to address patients’ needs seamlessly and without causing harm. Thus, process monitoring and quality control are critical to manufacturing an ideal product.

• Validate the presence, absence and uniformity of antimicrobial lubricious coatings on medical tubing

• Determine the appropriate type of surface treatment for your process

• Validate surface treatments such as plasma treatment, ultrasonic cleaning, solvent wiping and grit blasting has been effective

• Optimize flame and plasma treatment levels on medical devices to prevent over-treatment

• Ensure the surface cleanliness of stainless, aluminum, and titanium

• Verify that ultrasonic cleaning is uniform and maximally effective

• Audit negative effects on antimicrobial coatings in medical supply storage as a result of extended shelf-life.

• Identify the presence of silicone that can be detrimental to a bond

The data captured by each inspection is processed by an integrated ARM processor and can be uploaded to the user’s data storage system via a USB port or stored on an included 8 GB thumb drive.

Instrument Specifications

The body of the Surface Analyst measures 4.2 inches wide by 2.1 inches deep by 9 inches long, and weighs only one pound. The measuring head is tethered to the body, allowing it to reach difficult-to-access locations. It operates on 2.5 A 100-240 v, 50-60Hz AC power supply or two 7.4 Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries that can provide 5 hours of continuous operation per charge.

Surface Analyst can analyze composites, metals, glass, polymers, biological surfaces and some textiles. The unit can conduct 1,000 measurements per fluid cartridge. The unit can be adjusted to the user’s specified pass/fail standards.

BTG Labs (formerly Brighton Technologies, LLC) is a Material Science-based technology company focused on understanding, quantifying, and controlling critical surface processes in manufacturing. The Surface Analyst is widely used in the flexible packaging, aerospace, automotive, electronic, medical device, consumer product industries and in a wide range of manufacturing and assembly operations. For further information about the Surface Analyst and BTG Labs, call (513) 469-1800 or visit the company website at