Knowledgebase:
The Water Break Test
Posted by Lance Caswell, Last modified by Lance Caswell on 07 April 2008 08:11 AM

The WATER BREAK TEST

Also recognised as ASTM-F-22

This test is probably one of the most important procedures in any plating or anodizing operation.

Make sure you carry out this test after doing all the preparation work, including degreasing and etching in pickles.


To pass the test water will sheet off the part rather than bead off.

  1. Take a cleaned and dried part and set it in a vertical position.
  2. Use a spray bottle containing distilled water.
  3. Spray the part two to three times from at least 6" away.
  4. If the part is clean and free of oily residue, the water spray should sheet off.
  5. If some oily residue remains, the water will tend to bead on the part
  6. Repeat the cleaning process until the part passes the test.

Alternatively, apply several drops of distilled water to the cleaned surfaces.

If the surface is inadequately cleaned, the spherical form of the drop is largely retained, and the surface must be cleaned once more.

If the water runs on the treated surface, then wetting has been satisfactory and the part is ready for plating.

Watch a video on this process


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