Glove Selection – Perhaps your lab is typical in selecting nitrile gloves for everything. Changes are made when one loses a finger (of a glove) in a beaker of solvent. This is not the best practice, but many will not believe me when I say that there is an “easy alternative” to the “lost-finger” selection scheme.

Contact Angle Measurement – Measurement of contact angles often provides valuable information as to the cleanliness of a surface as well as the ease of wetting of a surface with a coating such as paint or other organic species. Previous methods based on use of a sessile drop were subject to considerable operator error. In order to minimise such errors, the computer-based analysis of drop shape has been developed. The use of such software which is Windows-compatible and easy to learn, is described, giving results where operator-error is minimised. The method has considerable potential for Quality Control in surface finishing.

Solvent Substitution (Part 1) (Part 2) – Part one of this article examines two cleaners including a hydrofluoroether (HFE) and a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) currently being considered as potential replacements for flammable solvents. Cleaning efficacy, short-term and long-term materials compatibility, corrosion, drying times, flammability, environment, safety and health (ES&H) issues and accelerated aging studies are among the tests that are being conducted and that are used to screen candidate solvents. Part two, appearing in the October issue features the results, which are compared to the traditionally used isopropyl alcohol, which serves as the baseline cleaner.