Surface energy is an important property in numerous industrial application and processes. It shows a strong dependency on various macroscopic properties and relates to many crucial interfacial phenomena including powder flow, adhesion, dispersion and wetting behaviors.
In the past, fillers were often used only to reduce the price of finished product; nowadays fillers are also used to impart new properties to materials, yielding what is known as a composite. When manufacturing these types of materials, it is desirable to know if the individual components are compatible. For this purpose, Inverse Gas Chromatography becomes a useful tool, whereby the surface energy of solid materials is measured, and hence the energetic properties of their surfaces are obtained. The IGC Surface Energy Analyser (SEA) determines the surface free energy of solids via adsorption of organic vapours with known properties.
Application Note 226: Surface Energy Heterogeneity Profiles by iGC Surface Energy | Request a copy
The surface energy is an important parameter for the characterisation of surface properties. It can provide a useful picture of the energetic situation on the surface and shows therefore a strong dependency on various macroscopic properties. An easy way to study such effects is the use of dynamic methods. Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC SEA) is a particularly suitable technique that allows a fast and accurate determination of the surface energy, either the dispersive component or the interaction with a polar probe.
Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC SEA) is a well-known technique for the characterisation of industrial and natural fibres. The most common measured materials in this area are carbon and glass fibres. Glass fibres, for example, are a common industrial product and used, for instance, in the production of sound and heat-insulation materials. Another key application is as reinforcement for composites. The use of common adsorption techniques is limited for this application since many fibres have a relatively small surface area. IGC SEA, however, provides the required sensitivity to study surface adsorption and additional physico-chemical properties.
The surface energy of minerals may be of interest in the field of geology and mining, as certain methods of mineral separation depend upon the surface energies of the raw materials, such as flotation. The surface energy can also be used to assess the interaction between mineral aggregates and binders in, for example, road asphalt. The quality of road asphalt depends strongly on the affinity of the mineral aggregates to the bitumen binder. This affinity is directly related to the surface energetics of the individual components. Using the Dynamic Vapor Sorption (DVS) instrument, accurate and reliable information on the surface energies of the components of asphalt can be obtained.
Application Note 43: Determination of Surface Energetics of Mineral Aggregates by Dynamic Vapour Sorption
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