Surface Science & Coatings

The SSC department supports product and process development of surface critical products. Substrates studied include Al, Zn, Cu and steel sheet as well as Al extruded profiles, steel pipes, polymer sheathed conductor cables and metal-polymer composite panels. Surface treatments include cleaning, passivation, lacquering, painting, electrolytic etching, anodizing and phosphating.


All aspects of the substrate surfaces and coatings are studied to ensure optimum product appearance and functionality. Typical surface characteristics measured include:

      • Colour, gloss, topography
      • Coating layer structure, physical properties and integrity
      • Lacquer type and thermal properties
      • Surface cleanliness
      • Electrochemical activity


Techniques applied include:

    • Optical microscopy, White-Light Interferometry, SEM, EDX
    • Microhardness measurement
    • Colour and Gloss measurement, Colour Comparator for Liquid Lacquers
    • FTIR
    • DSC, TGA, DTA
    • Laboratory scale electrolytic etching and anodizing
    • Electrochemical (potentiostatic and potentiodynamic) polarization studies
    • Accelerated corrosion testing


Differential Thermal Analyzer (Perkin Elmer-DTA7)5-100oC/min rapid heating & cooling from ambient to 1300oC, nitrogen & air atmosphere.Determination of phase-change temperatures
ThermoGravimetric Analyzer (Perkin Elmer-Pyris 1 TGA HT)Microbalance accuracy ±0.02%, with accurate temperature control (50-1200oC, heating rate 0.1-200oC/min), nitrogen & air atmosphere.Quantitative analysis of compounds and volatile substances
ThermoGravimetric Analyzer (TA Q50)Microbalance accuracy ±0.01%, with accurate temperature control (ambient-1000oC, heating rate 0.1-100oC/min), nitrogen & air atmosphere, switch gas.Quantitative analysis of compounds and volatile substances
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (NETZSCH DSC 214 Polyma)Temp. range -70 to 600oC (Intracooler), temp. accuracy 0.1oC/min, Enthalpy accuracy <2%, scanning rate 0.001-500oC, nitrogen & air atmosphere.Accurate determination of phase-change temperatures & enthalpy
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (Perkin Elmer-Spectrum GX FTIR)Transmission, ATR & Grazing Angle Specular Reflectance Spectra, Specac Diamond ATR, PIKE Tech. 80o Spec Specular Reflectance Accessory.Identification of organic molecules, Analysis of thin films
Gloss meter (BYK micro-TRI-gloss)Gloss measurements at 20, 60 & 85oGloss determination of Low, Medium & High Gloss Surfaces
Color meters (BYK Instruments)CIE Color measurements, sphere & 45/0 Geometries, ΔΕ* repeatability 0.01.Color characterization of surfaces

Gauge meter (BYK byko-test MPOR)Measuring range 0-2000 μm, accuracy ±1 μmCoatings thickness on ferrous & non-ferrous substrates
Conductivity Meter (FOERSTER-SIGMATEST 2.068)Fast and non-destructive determination of measured values at high accuracy, large measuring range from 0.5 to 65 MS/m, four selectable measuring frequencies (60, 120, 240 and 480 kHz).Absolute measurement of the electrical conductivity of non-ferrous metals, Determination of metal purity
Conductivity Meter (SURAGUS-EddyCus TF)Non destructive contact measurement, real-time and easy-to-use, accurate single-point (40 mm diameter) measurement of sheet resistance for conductive thin films (range 0.001 - 100 Ohm/sq), measurement of films with thickness 5 nm-500 μm, accuracy: < 3% for 0.001 – 50 Ohm/sq and < 5% for 50 – 100 Ohm/sq.Electrical conductivity determination
Solartron Analytical 1287 Electrochemical interface

Solartron Analytical 1255B LF Frequency Response Analyzer
High accuracy, wide bandwidth potentiostat/galvanostat which offers a full range of ac/dc test capabilities and performs simultaneous voltage and current measurements. The measurement resolution and accuracy is down to 1μV for the reference electrodes and 1pA for the working electrode.

Also used for Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) over a full 10μHz to 1MHz frequency range.

Provides precise measurement of gain and phase between any two points in a system.
Apparatus applications include:
• Corrosion and corrosion protection
• Properties of organic and inorganic coatings and films
• Development of novel anode/cathode materials and electrolytes
• Photoelectric effects

Equipped with Electrochemistry Software packages CorrWare and ZPlot which are specifically designed to run a wide range of electrochemical tests including:
• Impedance
• Potentiostatic/galvanostatic techniques
• Cyclic voltammetry
PARSTAT PMC-2000A Multichannel Potentiostat/AC-DC-FRAFlexible experiment setup that can automatically sequence the potentiostatic, galvanostatic and impedance capabilities, determination of uncompensated resistance for iR compensation, 30 V Polarization Voltage range, 6-WIRE function measures an additional voltage benefiting Anode/Cathode impedance analysis, standard Maximum Current 1 A and standard Lowest Current Range 4 nA, EIS Frequency Range 7 MHz to 10 µHz, equipped with VersaStudio Software.Corrosion and corrosion protection, Electrochemical properties of coatings, Energy applications (testing battery cells)
ET system electronic
4.5KVA AC/DC source capable to provide constant voltage or currentElectrochemical testing:
• AC/DC anodizing
• AC graining
• Electrodeposition
Carbon & Moisture Analyzer (Leco RC612)Carbon 50 ppm to 20% & H2O 100 ppm to 20%Determination of Carbon/Water in solid samples
Accelerated oxidation test (892 Professional Rancimat)Temperature range 50-220°C, Gas flow range: 1-25 L/h, Conductivity measurement 0-400 µS/cm.Determination of oxidation stability of Fat and oil derivatives – Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) samples, EN 14112 and ISO 6886
Density measurementsDensity ISO 1183-1, Immersion method A.Measurement of density based on Archimede’s principle

Other Labs

Numerical Modeling
Numerical modeling offers an efficient and powerfu
Analytical Chemistry
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Environmental & Corrosion
Environmental The Environmenta
Process & Physical Metallurgy and Forming
The Process Metallurgy Department studies the phys
Metallography and Electron Optics
The  Department of Metallography and Electron Opti
Mechanical Testing
The laboratory of the Mechanical Testing is equipp

Cooperations & Partnerships