KRÜSS Mobile Surface Analyser (MSA)

The printing industry initially developed surface tension measurement to measure the quality of print from printing plates to other surfaces. In its simplest form, inks were drawn onto a surface, such as paper. If they produced a solid line or dispersed into liquid bubbles, they showed their efficacy on that surface. Once identified, the correct viscosity of ink could then be used to deliver a clear print on that surface. A lot of trial and error would eventually yield a usable result.

The measurement is known as the Dyne Value or mN/m value. (Milli Newtons/metre).

Engineers soon recognised the importance of this form of measurement across all areas of modern manufacturing. They found that the molecular structure or composition of bonded substances is of far greater concern to the efficiency of the end product. They also found that surface tension is 99%+ dependent upon the chemical composition of the molecules that are present in the top 1-5 molecular layers of a substance’s surface. In summary, the molecules’ ability to adapt and reposition themselves plays a huge effect in the strength of the materials and the finished product.

Surface tension measurement uses three types of processes to ascertain the attractive forces generated by different molecules. Two of the processes use a probe to exert force at the interface of any two surfaces and the other uses an optical tensiometer to measure the same thing.
The downside to the process is often the instruments used. They can be large, unwieldy and limited in their scope. They require time, specialist knowledge and samples to be tested, most times, off-site.