Contamination analysis techniques to implement rapid identification of contamination sources using key techniques including microscope, EDX, NMR and FTIR

Contamination analysis can require a wide range of techniques to detect, identify and investigate contamination and extraneous matter investigations. Contamination can cause major disruption to your production or distribution and the correct analytical methods must be applied to achieve a rapid resolution. 

Our experts use a strategic and methodical approach to contamination analysis investigations utilising microscopy, spectroscopy, physical investigation and elemental analysis techniques, in order to achieve rapid detection and analysis of contamination issues. 

Microscopy contamination analysis

Our experts apply microscopy techniques such as optical microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM and EDX Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy: EDS, EDX, or XEDS) or transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to study particulate contaminants and fibre contaminants. Information on the shape, size and surface characteristics of the particles and fibres is invaluable regarding identification of their source. 

Spectroscopy and Microscope based techniques for chemical composition of contaminants

Identifying the chemical composition of the contaminants is critical to resolving the problem. We often employ the use of SEM with Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) as a first step to investigate residues or particles. This can yield elemental composition of the particle or area studied and can help determine if the contaminant is of organic or inorganic material. 

Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy, optical microscopy and also ATR-FTIR spectroscopy can provide molecular composition information of organic materials, and help to identify unknowns. For trace metal contamination – if a suitable procedure is adopted - trace levels of metals can be detected using inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP) which provides a highly sensitive multi-element analytical tool. 

Our contamination expertise includes

  • Particulate Contaminants and Defect Analysis
  • Contamination and Failure Analysis
  • Foreign Body Identification
  • Films Laminates and Packaging
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Medical Devices and Composites
  • Transportation Contamination

 Contamination analysis techniques

Our specialist teams are located across the US and Europe and equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation that can be deployed in multidiscipline contamination investigation studies to address all of your contamination challenges.

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