Eva Ekerot Jul 16, ’19 > 3 min

How to assess detergent etching performance in one hour

The traditional way of testing etching and corrosion is to repeat a number of wash cycles and thereafter visually inspect the object for etching effects. Sometimes, as many as 70 wash cycles may be required to detect and evaluate the etching. This is both costly and time-consuming but there are faster ways. Here we present a method that will help you assess the etching effects in one single wash cycle and in less than an hour.

The experimental setup for a 1h assessment of etching effects

QSense® technology is a method that can monitor surface etching with high resolution in a time-resolved manner. Thanks to the nanoscale sensitivity of this technology, removal of surface material can be detected and quantified in a single wash cycle.

Comparison of the etching properties of two commercial detergents on glass

As an example, let us look at an assessment of the etching of two commercial detergents. Using a fully automated QSense instrument, the etching properties of detergent A and detergent B on soda lime were evaluated. Two different temperatures, 25 and 40°C, were tested and Swedish tap was used as a control. The 50-minute long wash program, used in the test, consisted of a 30-minute wash step and a 20-minute rinse step where Swedish tap water was used.

After the test, the etch rate during the detergent exposure was extracted, and the average surface removal was calculated as thickness removed per hour measured in nanometers.

Detergent A showed higher etching than detergent B

The results, Fig. 1., show that the etching was both detergent and temperature dependent. Detergent A showed higher etching than detergent B at both temperatures and the etching increased with the temperature for both detergents. The control measurement showed no surface removal at neither 25 °C nor 40 °C.

Assessment of detergent etching

Figure 1. Etching results for two commercial detergents, detergent A and detergent B, evaluated at two different temperatures, 25°C and 40°C, using QSense technology

Concluding remarks

Etching assessments can be very time-consuming, and they often involve an element of subjective nature, for example, grading by visual inspection. QSense technology offers both fast and objective quantification of etching effects. The method enables single point etching data, for a given surface and temperature, to be collected within one hour.

Download the guide to learn more about the procedure for evaluation of detergent etching properties using QSense technology.

Guide  QSense etching property  Download

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