Substrate (materials science)

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Substrate is a term used in materials science and engineering to describe the base material on which processing is conducted. This surface could be used to produce new film or layers of material such as deposited coatings. It could be the base to which paint, adhesives, or adhesive tape is bonded.

A typical substrate might be rigid such as metal, concrete, or glass, onto which a coating might be deposited. Flexible substrates are also used.[1] With all coating processes, the condition of the surface of the substrate can strongly affect the bond of subsequent layers. This can include cleanliness, smoothness, surface energy, moisture, etc. Some substrates are anisotropic with surface properties being different depending on the direction: examples include wood and paper products.


Coating can be by a variety of processes:

In optics, glass may be used as a substrate for an optical coating—either an antireflection coating to reduce reflection, or a mirror coating to enhance it.

A substrate may be also an engineered surface where an unintended or natural process occurs, like in:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barthel, E (2007). "Adhesive contact to a coated elastic substrate" (PDF). Journal of Physics D. 40 (4): 1059–1067. arXiv:physics/0701180. Bibcode:2007JPhD...40.1059B. doi:10.1088/0022-3727/40/4/021. S2CID 29014063. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  2. ^ Gent (1986), PULL-OFF FORCES FOR ADHESIVE TAPES (PDF), OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH Contract N00014-85-K-0222,Project NR 092-555, AD-A166820, archived (PDF) from the original on May 27, 2021, retrieved 21 May 2021
  3. ^ Hughes (1986), "Electrostatic Powder Coating" (PDF), Ntis Ad Number:d439308, RESEARCH STUDIES PRESS LTD., archived (PDF) from the original on May 27, 2021, retrieved 21 May 2021