Friday, 1 March 2024

What is material analysis and why is it important?

What is material analysis and why is it important?

In every area of manufacturing, it is essential to understand the materials you are working with, because the world is full of them and they are all different. This is particularly true of plastics and polymers, but also applicable to metals. When you use a material for whatever purpose, you need to know how it is going to perform, to avoid issues cropping up later. Everything from strength and weakness to compatibility with other materials needs to be known in advance, to prevent poor performance, customer dissatisfaction and more serious eventualities such as damage to property, animal and human health and even death.

Anticipated performance

Accepting assurances from a supplier is all well and good and, in an ideal world, the word of a fellow professional should be good enough. But when there is so much at stake, from financial considerations to potential danger to life, such assurances don’t stand up on their own. Analysis is the only way to truly know what you’re dealing with. Failure to understand the properties of a material can result in legal action, and trials at which the very company that might have carried out an analysis that would have prevented the trouble could be called to provide an expert witness, enlighteninga the gathering of learned people who don’t necessarily understand the subject. They will be required to explain in something close to laymen’s terms what caused the issue and where the blame lies.

Failure analysis and R&D

Even if the outcome is not dramatic but a problem shows up during the manufacturing or testing stages, the stakeholder will want to understand why something hasn’t worked or what caused an unexpected result, so that it can be resolved and the project can be resumed with whatever modifications are necessary. Chemical, mechanical and physical properties need to be clear so that progress can be made.

There are also patent issues to be avoided, and the composition and properties of a material can be a complex area, but it has to be covered exhaustively, and that takes expert analysis. How did contamination occur? Why did the paint not adhere? Such basic points must be addressed, and there are processes that can answer every question, however specialized, if you ask it of the right people.

In cases where copyright is not an issue, the task may be to create something as successful or more successful than something a competitor has produced, and while that is a very different ball-game, the methods of analysis are the same.

Types of analysis

Molecular structure of polymers, blend composition, tacticity, the list is a long one and rather than itemizing it in its entirety, suffice it to say that whatever needs to be identified, the right material analysis company can do it. For pharmaceuticals, mining, geology, any highly technical or abstruse field, there are processes that can be employed to get to the bottom of whatever issue a client may bring.

It’s all about a combination of the finest minds and the latest technology, because one without the other is not enough. If you need answers rather than guesses, only the best materials analysts can give them to you.


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