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Microscopic analysis of coating films

If damage to a coating occurs after a material has been processed, or if it is unclear which material has been processed, the analytical department  can help to solve the case of damage or determine the type of material - with a some investigative detective work. Optical microscopy* and infrared spectroscopy* are used for this purpose.

With microscopy, statements the coating thickness in the µm range and the number of coatings applied can be made. With our microscope, magnifications of up to 200 can be achieved. With a special illumination unit and various image processing tools, the contrast ratio can be increased and thus surface structures made visible.

Infrared spectroscopic examination of coating materials and coating films

The principle of infrared spectroscopy* is based on the fact that the infrared radiation penetrates a few micrometres into the surface of the coating and is reflected again. Vibrations are excited in the material and part of the radiation is absorbed. Characteristic infrared spectra are obtained and statements can be made, for example, about which binder was used for a coating or whether a certain material was processed/applied.

The RMI has a large database with FTIR reference spectra of coating materials and raw materials.

When checking the conformity of a coating material with a reference material, it should be noted that the latter needs to be provided as a sample.

* Accredited test