Analytical Services
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Rubber Consultants provides a rubber testing service for all aspects of the rubber product manufacturing and consuming industry. Analysis is one of the major tools for successful problem solving and trouble shooting, especially when conducted by experts with the experience to interpret the results. The techniques can also be applied to the determination of trace chemicals in rubber products to ensure safety standards are met. The laboratories of Rubber Consultants analytical facilities are fully equipped with a wide range of instruments and fully experienced staff.

Rubber Consultants can help if you have an unacceptable reject rate during manufacture or inexplicable failures during service. We can help if the competition is making better or cheaper products than you are, if you want certification of compliance with legislative controls or analytical data to show compliance or if you can think of a problem that you would rather be without.

Rubber Consultants' analytical services are used extensively by companies like polymer suppliers, suppliers of processing chemicals and various fillers, producers of all types of elastomeric products and users of elastomeric products.

Main areas of expertise are:
Formulation analysis
Specification certification
Compliance with health and safety legislation
Surface morphology and defects
Contamination
Polymer blend analysis
Latex enquiries
Raw rubber analysis
REACH compliance

REACH compliance & Rubber Consultants

Instrumental techniques available:
Spectroscopy IR, FTIR/Raman, FTIR-ATR, P-IR, UV, NMR
Chromatography GC, GCMS, TLC, HPLC, GPC, IC
Thermal analysis TGA, DSC
Microscopy light, SEM, STEM, TEM
Elemental SEM- EDX, ICP

Speciality analyses include:
Extractable Protein by modified Lowry to ASTM or CEN Standards
Nitrosamines testing and nitrosatable amine testings to BgVV/BfR Requirements
Airborne nitrosamines in production and storage areas
Trace metals to EN71
Method validation
Gel content
Acetone extract level
Residual processing chemicals
Adventitious contamination - particulate or chemical
Molar mass distribution (Mw, Mn, MZ and dispersivity)

Typical areas of work include:
- Reject testing; analysis of blooms or general surface analysis for defects
- confirming that a product meets a purchasing specification
- explaining why a product has failed in service – failure analysis, root cause analysis
- assessing the impact of environmental legislation on a product including, if required, compliance testing and certification of compliance with a requirement or Standard
- method development for regulatory bodies including method validation and validation report

Often, problems tackled do not involve rubber testing: techniques such as microscopy, spectroscopy, chromatography and thermal analysis have been applied successfully in work for the plastics, paper, pharmaceutical and other industries. However impressive the range of equipment, it is only worthwhile if it can be used to solve real problems. Almost every day new problems arise and even "routine" rubber analysis often contain elements of method development or expansion.

The following is a list of typical areas of application in which we have experience:

Latex:
polymer identification, polymer blend identification
particle size and particle distribution
trace metal levels
residual processing chemicals
adventitious contamination - particulate or chemical
nitrosamines and nitrosatable amines to BgVV/ BfR requirements

Raw rubber:
specification analyses
bale wrapping polymer identification, thickness and melting profile (virgin or reclaimed)
polymer identification, qualitative/quantitative blend analysis

Differentiation between:
natural and synthetic polyisoprene
natural rubber/epoxidized natural rubber blends and homopolymers of various epoxide levels
high and low vinyl styrene butadiene copolymers (SBR)
block copolymers and random copolymers (SBS vs SBR)
NBR and HNBR and grades of viton fluropolymer
types of polyester and nylon

Thermoplastics: (as above, and in addition)
filler loading, qualitative and quantitative identification
carbon black type and loading
plasticiser testing - loading and identification

Vulcanizates (or compounded rubbers as appropriate, as above, and in addition)
homogenicity of mixing on the macro and micro scale
curing ingredients (or residues) - identification and quantification
sulphur levels - total, combined, free, sulphide
sulphur level - inactive, in recovered carbon black
recoverable protective agents - identification and quantification
nitrosamines (CEN, BgVV and FDA) and nitrosatable amines (CEN, BgVV)
crosslink densities in the individual elastomeric components of a blend
visualization of the crosslink density of a vulcanizate or the individual components of a blend
wax characterisation in terms of paraffin profile

Guidance on certain aspects of legislation as it affects rubber compounding and manufacture, for example in the Health & Safety areas of nitrosamine testing and latex protein content, is available. Most methods are accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service).

For further information please contact us.


Other services offered by Rubber Consultants are:

Pharmaceutical Testing
Biotechnology Services
Bioinformatics
Rubber in Engineering
Prototype Design & Manufacturing
Rubber Technology
Contract Research
Physical Testing
Tyre Testing
Expert Witnesses

If you require any of our services do not hesitate to contact us.

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