Gideon Analytical Laboratories performed failure analysis on a cold rolled steel plate that was received with what looked like tape prints, fingerprints, and black oil which all appear to interfere with the plating process.
Using one microliter of methylene chloride (ACS HPLC Grade) the surface of the cold rolled steel was collected in a glass vial. A portion was then evaporate onto a KCL wafer and analyzed on an FTIR to give spectra in the top picture. All the spectra compared showed aliphatic hydrocarbon oil in the 2900 cm-1 region with a small absorption of ester and acid component. The ester/acid material adheres to the steel surface and has been hydrated with an inorganic material (more than likely the iron in the steel).
The conclusion was that since there were many fingerprints on the sample, the ester/acid component maybe coming from the triglyceride skin oil as opposed to oil like WD-40 with the ester/acid in it.
Failure Analysis performed by Gideon Analytical Laboratories can provide immediate and candid feedback about problems in the production, process or applications in the field. This type of information can give manufacturing immediate feedback thus correcting problems, improving yields and better looking products.