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What is RCA Abrasion Testing?

By Engaged Expert Ryan Castells Advanced Materials

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Used mainly for printed membrane switches, RCA abrasion testing provides a cost effective way for manufacturers to judge the performance of inks and coatings used on common items such as TV remotes and treadmill control panels. 

These inks and coatings are affected by a number of different abrasive forces, including human finger interaction, cleaning, wiping, rubbing, shipping, storage, and accidental damage. Over the lifetime of the device, these actions can result in the removal of a substantial portion of the inked or coated surface. 

The RCA abrasion testing specification, ASTM F2357, involves the use of a specific piece of testing equipment, manufactured by Norman Tool. This machine uses a small strip of abrasive paper, which is put into contact with the surface of the button for a specific number of cycles. A normal load is also applied throughout the test. Upon conclusion, an evaluation of the amount of visible wear is performed.

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