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THE PERFORMANCE OF A COATING FILM IN A TEST is likely to be dependent on the physical form of the film. For instance, film thickness is an important factor in physical and appearance measurements (until the coating gets too thick), so there must be some control of the film thickness. Appearance is also related to how smooth the film surface is, and care to make the film appropriately will ensure that the appearance measurements are germane to the end use. The substrate used as the carrier for the test film, even temporarily, may affect the property measurements, as well. The primary concern in making films for tests is that the film prepared be homogeneous and consistent with previous or future films for the same test. The jargon of the trade calls the art of making films “casting,” but many film formation methods are used to form the film, and each method has its own set of advantages and drawbacks.
Athey, Robert D.
Athey Technologies, El Cerrito, CA