Stainless steel, polymethylmethacrylate and polytetrafluoroethylene coupons were analysed for surface topographical and adhesion force characteristics using tapping mode atomic force microscopy and force-distance microscopy techniques. The two polymer materials were surface modified by polishing with silicon carbide papers of known grade. The struvite scaling rate was determined for each coupon and related to the data gained from the surface analysis. The scaling rate correlated well with adhesion force measurements indicating that lower energy materials scale at a lower rate. The techniques outlined in the paper provide a method for the rapid screening of materials in potential scaling applications.

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