Coatings testing and analysis to support development, formulation and performance or failure investigations through chemical and physical property testing

Across the lifecycle of a coating product, rigorous testing and analysis is required to ensure product quality is maintained, that all end-use application specifications or regulatory compliance requirements are met, or to find alternative coatings for an existing application due to considerations such green compliance goals or the need to improve performance.

The chemical composition and physical properties of coatings have a direct impact on their performance. Accordingly, it is essential to conduct comprehensive coating testing and analysis programs. These often require highly specialised analytical equipment and should be conducted by scientists who have industry coatings application experience and specialist insight in the area.

Our coatings experts are on call as a valuable third party resource, for all sizes of organisations and many types of innovative coating products and their applications. Our coatings testing experts provide analysis and advisory services to support your research, to help you gain understanding of the coating’s fundamental properties and chemical composition

In the product development phase, we support end-use performance through exacting procedures such as mechanical property testing, scratch resistance, conductivity, thermal stability, or detailed analysis of formulations, and how they may affect cure profiles. 

We deliver application studies such as substrate surface interactions, processing or product failure analysis, accelerated weathering, corrosion testing, raw material substitution, and determine if the end-user specifications are met. 

In the final or pre-production phase, the insight we can bring will help you to respond to questions regarding quality control, quality assurance, or meeting regulatory requirements. Post market launch, our expert, impartial advice is invaluable to support litigation cases and drive swift resolution of contamination investigations, as well as supporting marketing claims.

We have significant knowledge of materials testing requirements for powder coatings, polymers, aerosols, adhesives, specialty coatings, paints, inks, toners, lacquers, multilayer systems, laminates, thin-films, hot melt and sealants.  We work with many new and advanced coating materials such as graphene, nanomaterials, bio-based materials or novel polymers based products, and can generate data to allow comparison with established marketed products tested for a specific performance environment, to aid improvement of the product or benchmarking against competitors.

With industry expertise that spans coating applications within food packaging, medical device, automotive, aerospace, oil and petroleum exploration, construction, textiles, marine and pipeline applications, we can help you to advance your understanding of your coating product through robust testing using advanced instrumentation, taking you beyond just the test result, instead, providing the insight and guidance you need to achieve your goals and develop your product.

We offer a suite of physical and mechanical testing, including bespoke or standard test methods (ASTM, ISO) to help understand the coating’s durability and performance including coating thickness, density, hardness and scratch resistance. We can also perform adhesion property testing and opacity /optical, thermal and rheological properties.

Our analytical and polymer scientists perform chemical analysis of coating formulations delivering invaluable information to support either formulation development or competitive product analysis.

We also determine and identify VOC content to establish regulatory compliance to either bespoke or industry standards.

Our contamination testing experts provide a strategic response to contamination of a coating product with a focus on accurate identification of the nature of the contaminant, the determination of its source to achieve swift resolution.

We are experienced in particulate contamination projects and also determination of trace organic and inorganic impurities identification.

We can also perform barrier property testing, accelerated weathering, chemical resistance and corrosion testing including exposure to ultra-violet light or chemical environments under controlled temperature and humidity conditions.

Spectroscopic techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR spectroscopy) or Raman spectroscopy provide chemical screening and identification of components. When used in product deformulation studies the data can help you to understand the competitor formulation and the raw materials used.

Our microscopy analysis experts use a wide range of cutting-edge microscopy technology such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS), optical digital microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy to view, analyse and measure coating surface features to investigate coating products and surfaces/surface interactions. Our SEM-EDS mapping capability can provide information on the elemental distribution at surfaces , interlaminar layers  or materials distributed within the coating matrix. Confocal  Raman microscopy or FTIR-microscopy mapping can provide spatially resolved chemical information about applied coatings or substrates.

We use an array of advanced instrumentation as part of  formulation support projects including gas chromatography (GC), ion chromatography (IC), high- pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatograph -mass spectrometer (GC-MS), gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and Liquid chromatography- Mass spectrometry

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