The Mobile Surface Analyzer – MSA

Take surface quality into your own hands

  • Wettability control at a click of a button
  • Faster and more reliable than test inks
  • Mobile, robust, and non-destructive

Bursting with features

For state of the art quality control

One-click surface free energy

Why choose between meaningful results and speed when you can have both?

learn more close details
Test

One click to learn all about your surface’s wettability

When measuring with just water, obviously all you learn is how water behaves on your material. Instead, knowing the surface free energy (SFE) means knowing how your surface would be wetted by any liquid, whether it is more like water or more like oil. That is why the MSA simultaneously uses a second liquid which is like oil to determine the SFE and quantify its polar and non-polar parts. After just one click and less than a second you instantly know what the effect of your surface modification or cleansing was. And if you need a simple yes or no answer for a quality check, you can easily set the MSA to provide it.

Faster and more reliable than test inks

Estimating the surface free energy (SFE) using manual brushstrokes of a series of liquid mixtures frequently gives misleading results. In contrast, the MSA determines the SFE scientifically using the contact angle as a direct measure of wettability. Since it does its analysis even faster than test inks, there is no reason to hold on to this ancient method.

Designed for mobile use

An automated contact angle instrument can’t fit in there, can it?

learn more close details

Take your QC lab wherever you go

A dosing unit for two liquids. A camera with a lens. A light source and an aperture. Lots of electronics. In a nutshell, that’s what it takes to automatically determine the SFE. Having all these parts tightly packed in a durable, hand-held instrument makes the MSA a small miracle.

Measure without size limit at any position in space

The compactness of the MSA is only surpassed by its versatility. You can use it on samples as thin as a chopstick or as large as a car body. It works on curved surfaces, vertical walls or overhead. Believe it or not, promising tests are even being made at zero gravity.

Liquid Needle dosing system

The contact between test liquid and sample is the most important moment. Let’s not spoil it!

learn more close details

Fast as a jet, careful as needle dosing

In the past, the time for dosing a drop with a solid needle made contact angle measurement slow. But speeding it up without influencing the results is not that easy. The Liquid Needle technique of the MSA was created to reach the speed of ballistic dosing while making the surface contact of the drop as gentle as if dosed with a solid needle.

The Liquid Needle vs. ballistic dosing

Letting a drop fall onto a surface or even shooting it may be fast but puts far too much energy into the surface contact. Even if the drop doesn’t splash, at the very least its shape gets distorted and gives false results. The very fast Liquid Needle uses just the right amount of pressure to create a jet so thin that distortion cannot spread to the drop’s outer line where the analysis takes place.

Liquid Needle – a fast alternative to the solid needle

Repeatability and reproducibility are the keys to a good measurement. This is why for control quality the first step is to have full control over the test method. The Liquid Needle leaves nothing to chance and enables a completely automated procedure with no operator-to-operator variation. Download this peer-reviewed study that proves that the Liquide Needle is as scientifically valid as the classic solid needle dosing.

Patented prism optics

Stay on top. Watch from the side.

learn more close details

The method that makes the contact angle visible

When viewing and analyzing the drop from the top, the drop area and diameter are the only available information. Measuring the contact angle like that is like doing a puzzle with the pieces upside down: there is a far more obvious way. The MSA still approaches the sample surface from the top but uses patented prism optics to acquire a side view image, thus making the contact angle directly visible.

No volume errors and the whole range from 0° to 180°

The side view method has some positive side effects. For example, the result is independent from volume precision. That eliminates one very critical source of error. Furthermore, the side view method is equally accurate in the whole measuring range from hydrophilic to very hydrophobic – in contrast to the top view diameter method, which becomes less and less accurate or even impossible at higher contact angles.

Special lighting and high-resolution camera

For the record: the image quality is outstanding

learn more close details

Camera and lighting team up for a perfect image

The precision of optical drop shape analysis relies on the image quality. For recording two drops in parallel, the MSA uses a sophisticated high-resolution camera suited for this demanding task.

To make the image even clearer, the innovative lighting of the MSA is split into separately controlled sectors so that each drop can be illuminated individually. This leads to a high-contrast, high-clarity picture as the basis for accurate contact angle results.

Easy to refill cartridges

Stay independent from high-priced consumables

learn more close details

Simple refilling with easily available liquids

The MSA won’t surprise you with high running costs by means of exclusive consumables. Once you get your hands on the instrument's innovative features, there is no need for purchasing prefilled cartridges again and again. Filling the cartridges yourself is very easy, requiring only disposable syringes and liquids which you can acquire wherever you want. And this means only pure water and diiodomethane, no fancy colored mixtures like test inks.

High-grade metal housing and non-destructive footprint

The strong and sensitive type

learn more close details

Heavy-duty construction with a light touch

Once you have verified that your surface meets all of your quality standards, you certainly don’t want it to be spoiled by the measurement. With that in mind, the MSA’s small, soft footprint leaves no traces on the sample except two micro-drops of pure liquid.

Constructed with chemically-resistant parts and enclosed by a high-grade metal housing, the instrument is robust and ready for the factory floor.

ADVANCE Software

The software that knows your workflow before you even start.

All about ADVANCE