Coating Delamination and Analysis
More than just looks

The properties of a material depend largely on the composition of its surface. Many branches of industry therefore use surface changes to optimize the properties of their products and components in a targeted manner. Coatings are often used to change the surface. They are used, for example, to optimize the optical properties of lenses, as a barrier layer in semiconductor structures, as corrosion protection in the form of paintwork or simply to optimize the optical appearance of plastic, metal or glass surfaces. There are a number of methods to apply these coatings. In addition to bonding different materials by gluing, for example a film on a substrate, there are many coating processes, such as galvanization or chemical or physical deposition processes. For example, chemical and physical vapor deposition (CVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) are frequently used methods for the deposition of metals on surfaces. Production errors can seriously disturb subsequent processes whether we are dealing with metallization, painting, bonding or any other type of coating. Delamination is an example of such an issue. Surface analysis in a dedicated laboratory can help here.

We are at your disposal with our know-how in the event of delamination and any type of coating fault, and we offer a large number of analyses on the subject of coatings in our laboratory:

  • Analysis of delamination on a wide variety of materials such as plastic, metal, glass and ceramics
  • Analysis of flaking of coatings on materials
  • Root cause analysis for unexpected abrasion behavior of coatings (tribology)
  • Analysis of adhesion failure / cohesion failure
  • Investigation of discoloration or contamination on coatings
  • Blisters and craters in coatings

If the above-mentioned faults occur, surface analysis methods are usually used to investigate the cause. They can be used to examine trace impurities on, in or between individual layers, determine layer thicknesses and characterize the structure of entire layer systems. When analyzing layers in our laboratory, layer thicknesses from a few nanometers to several micrometers can be analyzed.

As an example of our daily work, the analysis of delamination is shown below.

Analysis of the Delamination of a Metallic Coating

A two-component, metallic coating showed delamination from the underlying substrate. The bonding interface could be exposed by embedding the sample in epoxy resin and grinding it down to obtain a cross section of the sample. With the aid of ToF-SIMS mapping (imaging) in our laboratory, the conjugates of fatty acids were identified as the cause of the delamination. Based on this result, the substrate pretreatment (cleaning and activation) was checked and improved.

Component A
Fatty acid conjugates
Component B

Instead of the cross section grinding as used here, less elaborate methods are often used in our laboratory in cases of pronounced delamination. For example, layers can be detached with the help of adhesive tape and a cross-cut or simply by mechanically levering them off with a scalpel blade. The reverse side of the detached coating and the exposed surface of the substrate are then chemically characterized in order to detect any adhesion-reducing substances that may be present. Contamination such as polysiloxane can often be the cause of delamination and adhesion failure. Mineral oils or other filmic impurities can be identified.

Tascon - your partner for questions about delamination

Tascon is your competent partner laboratory for all questions on the subject of adhesive failure and delamination of coatings. If you need support in analyzing adhesive failure, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our friendly and competent team looks forward to your inquiry and will be happy to advise you personally and without obligation.

Get in touch.  Contact one of our analytical professionals:

+49 251 625622-100