Material Interface, Inc. History

The core business of Material Interface, Inc. is industrial surface analysis.  The term “surface” implies the outer 3-15 layers of atoms.  We have been using surface engineering to solve a wide variety of industrial problems for over 20 years and have studied the effect of surface chemistry on macro-material issues.

For example, the surface regions of stainless steel are dramatically different from the bulk of stainless steel.  Because of this fact, the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries use surface analysis techniques for quality control.  We have done substantial stainless steel surface analysis over the past 20 years.

Being in the more traditional metals and manufacturing industries in the Midwest, engineering failures due to high temperature and corrosion have also been studied by Material Interface.  Susan Kerber, Ph.D., President, has conducted materials- related projects with the electric power industry, where the significance of alloys that do not scale and flake at high temperature are of critical importance.

Alloys designed for high temperature contain specific elements, called rare earths, to reduce scaling at high temperatures.   The rare earths are added to the alloy at low concentration in its melt stage.  During high temperature processes, these rare earth elements diffuse to the surface of the alloy and reduce flaking through a variety of mechanisms.  These alloys are extremely expensive, often 5-10X the price of a similar alloy without rare earth additions.

The motivation for the development of Minimox was to modify the surface of traditional (i.e. less expensive) alloys with superficially-applied rare earth materials to have the same effect as a bulk addition.  When applied to the surface in a simple, inexpensive manner, the rare earth elements act in the same manner as when they are incorporated into the alloy itself.  The financial savings with this method are tremendous.

The initial product development of Minimox was funded by the US Department of Energy, through the fossil fuel group.   Subsequent research was dedicated to the development of an effective water-based product available in large quantities.

Material Interface, Inc. Analytical Services

Material Interface, Inc. is a contract laboratory that specializes in failure analysis and product R&D using surface analysis techniques, coating design, and consulting. We are dedicated to the development of superior products through improved surfaces, interfaces, and coatings.

If you have a materials problem or question, and do not know where to start, call us.

Founded in 1993, Material Interface offers state-of-the art materials analysis with personalized service, including full reports with all projects.

In addition to the surface analysis techniques of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, also known as ESCA, electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), a full range of metallurgical and chemical testing is available. Coating design services are also available.