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Surface Wetting Test Procedure Using Dyne Solutions:

This procedure describes a method for testing and measuring the surface wetting tension, i.e., surface energy, of plastic substrates using dyne test marker pens.

Surface wetting tests should be conducted immediately after pretreatment (corona discharge, flame treatment, RF gas plasma). Treated surfaces are time sensitive and are affected by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Substrates must have clean surfaces for optimal adhesion. Dirt, dust, hand/finger oils, silicone based products, and other contaminates inhibit adhesion and can cause erroneous test results.

CAUTION: Dyne solutions contain Cellosolve (2-ethoxyethanol) and Formamide which are considered hazardous chemicals. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Gloves must be worn at all times. Use with adequate ventilation. Pregnant women should not perform this test. Refer to MSDS sheet supplied by the vendor.


1.1 Dyne marker pens -- levels available 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 60
1.2 Products to be tested
1.3 Plastic gloves
1.4 Chemwipes or paper towels
1.5 Temperature and humidity gages
1.6 Clean work area

Note: Dyne solutions typically have a 6-12 month shelf life. Products should be immediately disposed when the solutions appear green in color. Store in a cool dark area.


2.1 Record ambient temperature and humidity
2.2 Select 60 dyne pen, and remove the cap
2.3 Place the product to be tested on a flat surface. Firmly press the marker pen applicator tip down onto the product until solution is drawn into the tip
2.4 Using a light touch, draw the pen across the length of the pretreated surface one time to apply a thin fluid layer. 2-3 parallel passes are recommended. Excessive solution will result in misreading
2.5 Note the time it takes for the liquid to break into droplets. The reading of the liquid behavior should be observed in the center of the liquid
2.6 If the liquid does not break into droplets after two (2) seconds, then the surface energy is assumed to be a minimum of 60 dynes. Proceed to step 2.7. If the liquid breaks into droplets in less than two (2) seconds, repeat the test using the next lower dyne marker pen. Adjustments to the pretreatment process may be necessary
2.7 The test is completed when all surfaces achieve the desired wetting results
2.8 Properly discard tested products

Notes: Never retest the same location on a sample. Do not touch or contaminate the surface to be tested. Dyne solutions are also available in bottle containers, and may be used in conjunction with a cotton swab test (ASTM D2578-84).

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