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Publication Date

Spring 2010

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Materials Engineering


Guna Selvaduray


Solid Surface Tension, Surface Tension

Subject Areas

Engineering, Materials Science


Determination of solid surface tension has led to major advances in technologies such as coatings, composites, and biomaterials. Limitations exist for conventional methods using contact angle measurement on complex curved surfaces for resolution on the microscopic scale. This research investigated the feasibility of a test probe method based upon competition for the volume of a liquid drop between the end of a cylindrical probe and a contacted solid surface.

The method was studied on polymers and metals with both flat and curved surfaces. The existence of test correlations to solid surface tension was found to vary significantly across solid and liquid types such as polar and apolar. Sensitivity was found to be strongly dependent upon initial liquid volume and area of liquid spreading. Application of the method to surface processing of metals such as heat treating, etching, and electro-chemical reaction had low sensitivity with the need for more development.