Time‐of‐flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis of paint craters

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  • Published: Sep 29, 2017
  • Author: Heather L. Bloomfield, Heng‐Yong Nie
  • Journal: Surface and Interface Analysis

Localized sudden changes in the surface energy of a surface to be painted are commonly held responsible for causing paint craters. However, it is not necessarily an easy task to identify the material(s) that produced the defects. Automotive paint cratering, when it happens, often requires immediate identification of its causes because the product line may have to be shut down until the problem is solved. For the past 18 years, Surface Science Western has applied time‐of‐flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF‐SIMS), among other techniques, to help its clients in the automotive industry identify the chemicals responsible for producing paint craters. In this article, we demonstrate that ToF‐SIMS is a unique and powerful technique in identifying the chemicals such as siloxane, fluorocarbons and fatty acids that are responsible for causing paint craters. We further show that the chemicals can be foreign contaminants, as well as segregation of additives in the paint systems, and even from contaminated solvents used in the paint. When the chemicals causing the paint craters can be identified by ToF‐SIMS analysis, the automotive company can often track down the primary source and remove the root cause. As such, surface analysis and in particular ToF‐SIMS is invaluable in understanding paint cratering for both the surface analysis research community and paint manufacturers and users. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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