Surface Science & Coatings

The SSC department performs research on surfaces, coatings, thin films and substrates; the goal is to support product and process development for industrial applications. Products studied are Al, Zn, Cu and steel sheet as well as Al extruded profiles, steel pipes, Cu tubes, polymer sheathed conductor cables, wire armour for submersed cables, foils and metal-polymer composite panels. Surface processes include cleaning, etching, passivation, anodizing, lacquering, painting and phosphating. SSC department focuses on products of various applications: packaging, buildings construction, energy and automotive. Analysis and evaluation of the properties of substrates, coatings and interfaces ensure optimum performance, functionality and appearance. Techniques applied for the characterisation include Microscopy, Spectroscopy, Thermal Analysis, Electrochemistry etc.


Typical surface characteristics measured are:

  • Surface topography, colour, gloss

  • Coating layer structure, physical properties and integrity

  • Lacquer type and thermal properties

  • Surface preparation efficiency (surface cleanliness)

  • Electrochemical activity (corrosion rate and protection, properties of surface)


Description Capacities Application
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 & 85o Gloss 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 μm Coatings thickness on ferrous & non-ferrous substrates
Conductivity meter – FOERSTER – SIGMATEST 2.070 Wide measuring range from 0.5 to 65 MS/m (1 % to 112 % IACS), five measuring frequencies (60, 120, 240, 480, 960 kHz) for determining electrical conductivity at different depths, temperature compensation of the test object, measurement on convex surfaces (e.g. metal rods, tubes) Electrical conductivity of non-ferrous metals, Purity determination of metals
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 effectsEquipped 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-FRA Flexible 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 ACS4500/LT/FB 4.5KVA AC/DC source capable to provide constant voltage or current Electrochemical 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 measurements Density ISO 1183-1, Immersion method A. Measurement of density based on Archimede’s principle

Other Services

  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Analytical Chemistry Department supports chemical analyses of solid and liquid samples, for Quality Control and R&D purposes. Our laboratory services include the following activities: ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation for a wide

  • Corrosion

    The Corrosion Department performs testing and evaluation of the corrosion performance of functional surfaces to support the clients in new developments, current product/process improvements or products quality assurance. The corrosion


ELKEME, Hellenic Research Centre for Metals S.A.
ELKEME was founded in 1999 to support the Hellenic Metallurgical Industry. Through a variety of state-of-the-art laboratories ELKEME focuses on industrial research and technological development/analysis in four major metal sectors: Aluminum, Copper, Steel and Zinc, providing efficient solutions to our customers.

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