Development of a simple and inexpensive method to quantify surface contamination on metals

Metallic parts are used in combination with oil or grease in many applicaitons, for example in car engines or hinges. To re-use them, the surface of the metal needs to be cleaned. Current technology makes use of solvents to remove the contamination. Although very effective, this method is polluting. Our industry partner (Walter Surface Technologies) has developed a new technology with very low environmental impact. They wish to test the effectiveness of their technology by measuring the amount of contaminant left on metal surfaces after cleaning with their products. However there are no current methods to determine surface cleanliness quickly and inexpensively. We propose here a new method based on dyes, which will allow for a fast, easy and cheap test of the level of cleanliness of any metal. Since there is no current standard to determine metal surface cleanliness, this method is likely to be of interest not only to Walter but to many other industries. Walter would like to commercialize this method should the project bring to the expected outcome.

Mandana Bornapour
Faculty Supervisor: 
Marta Cerruti
Project Year: