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Characterization of Coating Microstructure Using Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy



Li Piin Sung, Maria E. Nadal, Paul E. Stutzman, M E. McKnight


The appearance of coating materials depends on the physical attributes of the object's interaction with light. These physical attributes include the light source, the angle of illumination, the viewing angle, and the optical reflectance properties of the coating system resulting from its surface topography and subsurface microstructure. Identification and characterization of the microstructure of a coating are crucial for relating the microstructure to the optical reflectance properties and for predicting the appearance of a coating from its microstructure and its constituents, and for predicting changes that occur as a coating weathers. In this paper, we will demonstrate that laser scanning confocal microscopyIn the past, the attributes of subsurface microstructure of coating materials, such as pigment size, dispersion, and spatial distribution, have often been characterized using destructive techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on sectioned samples. These destructive microscopic techniques usually require a great deal of sample preparation, and experimental artifacts might be introduced during the process. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) is known for its non-contact and non-destructive features, and has been used extensively om the biomedical arena. 1In this paper, we will demonstrate that LSCM is a powerful tool for characterizing microstructure of pigmented coatings. The microstructure determined using laser scanning confocal microscopy is presented and compared to the corresponding optical reflectance data obtained from NIST's bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) instrument.2
Abstracts Of Papers Of The American Chemical Society


appearance, bidirectional reflectance distrib. func, coatings, laser scanning confocal microscopy, microstructure


Sung, L. , Nadal, M. , Stutzman, P. and McKnight, M. (2000), Characterization of Coating Microstructure Using Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy, Abstracts Of Papers Of The American Chemical Society, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017