Contamination analysis solutions by Intertek support business and manufacturing, providing an expert and adaptable analytical approach

Contamination issues present serious and potentially costly delays to production. Intertek's strength lies in quickly detecting and isolating the contamination, then selecting the correct analytical tools in order to identify the material and solve the problem. 

Our experienced contamination troubleshooting experts solve problems across almost all manufacturing and product sectors. 

In general, if your test samples can be analyzed by appropriate analytical instrumentation, we will solve your problem. The contamination examples below display a few of the problems solved, and resulting benefits.

Contamination ProblemContaminantContaminant SourceSolution and Outcome
microscopic black particles in fine powder pigmentcalcium carbonate reinforced carbon based rubberdamaged and deteriorating final product filler hosehose replaced and contaminated product was recalled before delivery to customer
coloured defects on coated surface of metal wire consumer producthigh molecular weight coating gelscross contamination from previous productpart recall was avoided because defect did not affect product integrity and was benign
metal debris passing magnets on newly constructed plant start upthin flat fragments of aluminium, one side printed, red and whiteSoft drink cans from maintenance contractors discarded in plantplant start up not delayed. new contractor training introduced plus improved housekeeping procedures
weld failure in construction materialagglomerated powdery inorganic materialsingle part of multi component additive pack due to incorrect blendingindependent analysis continued during process optimisation. Product replaced before completion
embedded particulate material causing bottle failurehighly crystalline unmelts and degraded base materialproduct build up in process plus incorrect process conditionsmaterial recalled, customer compensated. Returned material used as reclaim in different product
replication marks on final product show facesolvent residue causing localised chemical attackcontact adhesive residual solvent and incompatible barrier propertiescustomer successfully defended a disputed claim
flexible electronic product failure - metal track disruptionexposed filler and associated agglomeratesplastic substratealternative higher quality grade substrate supplied. Customer retained collaborative research
sudden unexplained outbreak of filters blocking on site boundariesenvironmental particulate debris plus high loading of distinctive fibresfibres from new plant on neighbouring industrial estateindependent analysis and consultation helped both parties put measures in place to reduce emissions
blocked narrow bore metal tubepolymeric internal depositequipment had polymer gaskets that were being chemically attackedgaskets replaced with alternative product and business retained
stained productsynthetic fibres. dye had leached due to temperature to cause visible staincold weather fleece jacketsgarments changed and significant cost saving made due to reduction of waste product
smooth product with embedded defects and rough surface finishcollection of general debris plus very unusual animal hair causinghair found to be from monkeys getting into building raftersmonkeys were dislodging debris settled high in the roof. Tighter security measures installed
poor optical appearance of transparent productsignificant increase in product residualsunexplained shift in plant operating conditionsplant conditions and chemistry subtly altered, downtime minimised and customer order met

It is intentional that there is no detail of the techniques used in these few examples: you don’t need to worry about that because that is our job. A problem may be solved simply by visual examination and drawing on knowledge from previous experience or at the other extreme may require a focused multi-technique approach.

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