Coating and Layer Analysis

Metal coatings are essential to many industrial sectors by providing enhanced surface properties to a wide variety of products. The metal coatings can provide a durable, corrosion-resistant layer to protect the base material, and help to minimize the wear and tear of metallic products. Metallic coatings can improve electrical conductivity, resistance to torque, solderability among other things. The quality control of composition and thickness of coatings is critical to ensure the correct coating properties and durability.

When tight quality control of metal coatings is required, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is the best overall solution. The Bruker M4 TORNADO micro-XRF instrument can provide simultaneous coating thickness and coating composition measurements. In addition to coating analysis, the M4 TORNADO can also measure the chemical composition of metal alloys, plating bath liquids, plastics and many other materials.

The M4 TORNADO is equipped with a high-performance silicon drift detector (SDD), W or Rh microfocus X-ray tube and user-selectable collimator which allows adjustment of measurement spot size from 1.5 mm down to 100 µm. Together with the video microscope and motorized and programmable XYZ stage, the user can ensure that measurement takes place at exactly the desired spot. 

M4 TORNADO provides the following benefits for coating analysis:

  • Fast and Precise Results for both coating thickness and composition
  • Completely non-destructive analysis
  • Able to measure multilayer systems with up to 12 layers
  • Fast programmable XYZ stage for automated multi-point coating analysis
  • Easy to use XDATA software enables users to create custom coating calibrations
  • Comprehensive reporting functions to quickly develop and store analysis reports
  • Coating analysis according to ASTM B568 and DIN/ISO 3497 standards

Potential M4 TORNADO coating thickness applications range from single-layer measurements such as Au on Cu to complex multi-layer alloy coatings. 

  • Single-layer general metal finishing coatings; (Zn, Ni, Cr, Cu, etc.) over a substrate
  • Composite alloy coatings over a substrate AuNi and ZnNi over a metal substrate
  • Electroless nickel-phosphorus coatings over a various substrate such as Cu or Al
  • Multilayer Coatings; two or more layers over a substrate (Cr/Ni/Cu)
  • Multilayer electronics coatings Au/Ni/Cu, SnAgCu/Cu, Au/Pd/Ni/Cu, etc.
  • Jewelry coatings such as Au/Ni/Cu, Rh/white gold, PdNi/Brass 
  • Solution analysis of plating baths