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Paint testing helps ensure that the manufactured batch meets a minimum requirement of ingredients and material characterization. It also makes sure the satisfactory performance of these products in any environment.
Microlab tests the quality of paint and its adhesive properties to give suppliers the confidence to move ahead with the most economical option to suit the application with high accuracy and reliability. The industry application ranges from automotive to earthmovers as cost reduction and corrosion resistance are the order of the day. Under Visual Testing we carry out the following:
The industry application ranges from automotive to earthmovers as cost reduction and corrosion resistance are the order of the day. Under Visual Testing we carry out the following:
Colorimeter & Spectrophotometer
The color of the paint can be characterized at MICROLAB with the below color space:
- CIEL*a*b*C*h* ；CIEL*a*b*；CIEXYZ；
- CIERGB； CIEL*u*v*； CIEL*C*h; Yellowness & Whiteness ；Color Fastness
The light source can be controlled to be D65/D50/A
Sagging tester complies with the ASTM D4400 and D3730. These are tested to determine the relative sag resistance of the paints in order to provide technical parameters on application
The resistance of the coating to a falling weight can be determined by this method as per ISO 6272.1
Different weights can be chosen with a maximum height of drop being 100cm
The ability of the coating to withstand a scratch deformation is evaluated. There are 2 methods currently carried out:
- Constant Load Scratch
- Varying Load Scratch Resistance
As the name implies, a constant load or a varying load can be chosen along with the type of indenter (steel, carbide etc) used to scratch the surface. A variety of test methods are followed ranging from ASTM, ISO and customer developed standards
The hardness of the coating is also evaluated using pencil hardness. Increasing hardness of pencil tips is rubbed against the surface and the hardness at which we see the coating deform up to the substrate is noted. The standard that is followed for this method is ASTM D 3363, ISO 15184
The damping property the coated material is determined using a pendulum hardness tester. This is calculated by the number of oscillations. The hardness of any given coating is given by the number of oscillations made by the pendulum within the specified limits of amplitude. The primary standard that is followed for this test is ASTM D4366
ROHS in Paint
Different elements like Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Chromium, PBB, PBDE can be evaluated using GC-MS, ED-XRF and ICP-OES up to very small levels of concentrations.
The type of paint that is used (for example, PolyUrethane, Epoxy etc.) can be identified using FTIR (link). The IR spectrum is used to study the type of paint and is a very quick method of identification.
Hazardous elements in paint can be tested by a variety of test methods present at our facility.
MICROLAB is involved in testing the quality of paint as well as its adhesive properties to give suppliers the confidence to move ahead with the most economical option to suit the application with high accuracy and reliability.
Heat Temperature (HDT)
HDT is a relative measure of the material’s ability to perform for a short duration at an elevated temperature while supporting a load. It indicates what temperature materials start to “soften” when exposed to a fixed load at elevated temperatures.
- ATSM D 648-07: Standard test method for Deflection Temperature of plastics under flexural load.
Flammability is the ability of a material to burn or ignite, causing a fire.
Under some applications, Plastics may reach a point of deformation, melting, or ignition due to high temperatures. To limit this failure Flammability property is checked to give an idea about the material selection. The burning behavior of plastics is not just a material characteristic; it also helps with the design.
- ASTM D 5132: Horizontal Burning Rate of Polymeric Materials Used in Occupant Compartments of Motor Vehicles.
- ISO 3795: Determination of burning behaviour of interior
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
This technique measures the energy changes in the paint (entropy) as a response to the temperature. This method helps find the glass transition temperature of coatings (Tg) to determine if these coatings will suit different environments. The test process also helps find the curing property of paints. In addition, the applications include determining the molding temperature for plastics, the crystallinity of plastics, etc. It is mandatory to have the temperature at sub-zero temperatures as some polymers have their Tg values inside this range. At Microlab, the temperature range is between –90o C to 450o C
Thermal conductivity is an important property when designing materials as insulators and in heat exchanger applications. At Microlab, we can also test the thermal conductivity at different temperatures (from room temperature to 200 degC) on liquids, powders, and solids. The application can extend to batteries, fluids, building materials, explosives, lighting, etc. Microlab is capable of two types of equipment: the steady-state measurement can give precise values, and the MTPS (Modified Transient Plane Source) instrument can provide values within seconds.
The standard test method for analysis follows ASTM C518, ASTM D7984, and ISO 8301
Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)
TGA is an analytical technique used to determine a material's thermal stability and its fraction of volatile components by monitoring the weight change that occurs when we heat a sample at a constant rate
- Compositional Analysis: We use the TGA technique to determine a sample’s composition by measuring the weight of each component as it volatilizes or decomposes under controlled temperature conditions, time, and atmosphere
- Moisture Content & Thermal Stability of a Pharmaceutical Material: TGA technique helps determine absolute and relative thermal stability and moisture content of pharmaceutical compounds
- Volatiles Analysis: TGA determinations of absorbed, bound, or occluded moisture and organic volatiles are crucial analyses for product performance and environmental acceptance.
- The temperature range is Ambient to 1000°C with an accuracy of ±1°C
- Sample weight capacity of 1000mg with a resolution of 0.1µg.
- High-Temperature Platinum Pan offers high performance and reliability in analysis.
- We use TGA to analyze polymers, ceramics, composites, and other inorganic materials.
- Conforms to ASTM E1131/D6370 and ISO 11358-1
Thermal Conductivity – TA instruments
- The FOX 50 Heat Flow Meter is an accurate, easy-to-use instrument for measuring thermal conductivity and provides rapid results in a compact footprint.
- The instrument is configured with the identical high-performance features and proprietary technologies of large FOX systems. It includes thin film heat flux transducers, digital thickness measurements, responsive temperature control, plus an integrated contact-resistance correction.
- Covering a wide range of temperatures, the FOX 50 is an ideal choice for measuring medium-conductivity materials such as plastics, ceramics, glasses, composites, concrete, and more.
- Solid-state heating/cooling for precise temperature control.
- Conforms to ASTM C518 and ISO 8301
- Temperature Range: -10° to 110°C.
Thermal conductivity – C-Therm
Thermal conductivity is the material property that determines the speed transfer or how much heat is through the material for a given temperature difference.
Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS)
- Fast, easy, and highly accurate, single-sided, “plug & play” sensor suitable for testing solids, liquids, powders, and pastes. It offers maximum sample versatility.
- Conforms to ASTM D7984
- The MTPS method employs a single-sided sensor that directly measures thermal conductivity and effusivity of materials. The MTPS method has the highest precision, highest sensitivity, and shortest test time.
- The temperature range is -50°C to 200°C
- Types of sample: Aerogels, Automotive, Batteries, Composites, Insulation, Geological, Liquids, Metals, Nanomaterials, Metal Hydrides, Nuclear, Phase Change Materials (PCMs), Polymers, Rubber, Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs).
Transient Line Source (TLS) Needle
- The TLS method uses a needle probe to characterize the thermal conductivity of thick (viscous) and granular materials. It is the most robust sensor for thermal conductivity testing.
- Temperature range is -55°C to 180°C
- Types of sample: Polymer Melts, Semi-Solids, & Soil.
- Conforms to ASTM D5930, D5334
Transient Plane Source (TPS) Flex
- The TPS method uses a double-sided hot disc sensor to simultaneously determine thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat capacity from a single measurement of the materials.
- TPS provides the user maximum flexibility and control over experimental parameters and avoids any contact agents.
- Types of sample: Cement/Concrete, Metal Sheets, Polymers, Porous Ceramics, & Thin Films.
- Conforms to ISO 22007-2
This test checks the compatibility of the primer with a surface or even between two paint coats. We carry out different adhesion such as:
X-Cut: This is a qualitative test performed as per ASTM D3359. We make an X-shaped cut on the coating.
Cross-Hatch: In this method, we make a cross-hatch pattern instead of an X-shaped cut and place the tape on the surface. We remove the tape to study the remaining cross-hatch for its adhesion property. It is also a qualitative test and performed as per ASTM D3359.
Pull-Off test: We stick a dolly to the coated layer with a strong adhesive. We use a portable pneumatic device to apply a tensile force progressively until the dolly Pull-Off occurs. The standard procedure is as per ASTM D4541 and ISO 4624
Conical & Cylindrical Mandrel: We use different cones of diameter measuring from 3 mm to 32 mm to check the diameter at which the coating peels off.
Salt Contamination Test
The presence of salts on the blasted surface decreases the adhesion of the coating with its surface. Therefore, the surface needs a check for salt content before application begins. If this is avoided, the paint system may show blisters or peel off with time.
Determination of the concentration of soluble salts (salt contamination) on metal surfaces is carried out in accordance with ISO 8502-6, 8502-9.
Dry Film Thickness (DFT)
We can measure Dry Film Thickness on the coated sample at site.
A surface roughness test is crucial to create a good bond between the paint and the substrate. If the surface is too smooth, the tendency of the paint coating to adhere to the substrate will drop. On the other hand, if the substrate is too rough, a large volume of paint will be required to create the same DFT needed to form a proper coat.
To identify the presence of pinholes or other defects in the coating, we perform a holiday test. Pinholes occur if the curing of the paint is not as per specification and is hard to catch visually. These are small pockets of space that later enlarge that cause corrosion to the substrate.
Specific Test Performed
Accelerated Storage and Stability Test
Consistency - Flow cup
Residue on Sieve
Xenon Exposure Accelerated Weathering
UV-Exposure Accelerated Weathering
Natural and Artificial Weathering
Protection against Corrosion under condensation
Scratch Hardness (As per IS 101)
Fineness of Grind
Flexibility and Adhesion -Bend Test as per IS 101
Gloss 60 degree
Mass in kg/10L
Phthalic Anhydride Content
Resistance to Acid
Resistance to Alkali
Resistance to Chlorine
Resistance to Heat
Resistance to Petrol
Resistance to Lubricating Oil
Lead in Paint by XRF
Lead Restriction Test
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FITR) analysis helps identify the chemical makeup of paints, fillers, and binders using an infrared light source to measure absorption.
- Infrared spectroscopy is the most widely used technique for identifying organic and inorganic materials.
- Infrared (IR) qualitative analysis is carried out by functional group identification or by comparing IR absorption spectra of unknown materials with those of known reference materials, or both.
- FTIR spectroscopy helps in organic synthesis, polymer science, petrochemical engineering, the pharmaceutical industry, and food analysis.
- FTIR spectra reveal the composition of solids, liquids, and gases
- In polymer science, FTIR spectroscopy helps us quickly and definitively identify compounds such as compounded plastics, blends, fillers, paints, rubbers, coatings, resins, and adhesives. We apply it across all phases of the product lifecycle and design, manufacture, and failure analysis.
- The Thermo Scientific™ iD7 ATR is a single-bounce attenuated total reflectance (ATR) device that accommodates interchangeable Diamond and Germanium (Ge) crystal plates. We use a Diamond crystal for materials with a lower refractive index like solids, liquids, and Germanium for higher refractive index materials like rubber.
- The spectral range of crystal: Diamond (AR coated) 7,800 – 400 cm¹, Germanium 5000 – 650 cm¹.
- Conforms to ASTM E1252
Differential Scanning Calorimetry
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a thermal technique used to measure energy changes as the test materials respond to changes in temperature.
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) measures the temperatures and heat flows associated with transitions in materials as a function of time and temperature in a controlled atmosphere.
- These measurements provide quantitative and qualitative information about physical and chemical changes that involve endothermic or exothermic processes or changes in heat capacity.
- DSC usage includes investigation, selection, comparison, and end-use performance evaluation of materials in Research, Quality control, Material development, Failure analysis, Process Development, and Production applications.
- DSC is used to study the thermal analysis of thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, pharmaceuticals, composites, resins, and biological substances.
- DSC industrial applications include Polymers, Petrochemicals, Automotive, Food, paints, and coatings.
Phase transitions of polymers include:
- Glass Transition
- Melting, Crystallization
- Curing, Endothermic reactions
- Exothermic reactions
- Enthalpy of fusion
- Specific Heat capacity
- Oxidation Induction Time
- Oxidation Induction Temperature
- Thermal Stability
- Degree of curing, and
- The temperature range is -90°C to 500°C with an accuracy of ±1°C.
- Our DSC coupled with Refrigerated Cooling System (RCS90) employs a two-stage refrigeration system that permits convenient DSC/MDSC operation over the temperature range from -90 to 550°C.
- Conforms to ASTM E1269/E1356/E794/D3418/D3895, ISO 11357-2/11357-3/11357-4
Universal Wear Tester
Universal Wear Tester is a multipurpose instrument that measures resistance to laboratory wear for woven and knitted fabrics, napped and pile fabrics.
- Universal Wear Tester, multiple functional testing devices for determining wear and abrasion resistance of fabrics used in clothing, automotive, footwear, and related industries.
- Universal wear tester fitted with the built-in timer and mechanical cycle counter; ensures repeatable and reproducible testing by consistent motor speed providing 120 double strokes per minute of 25mm stroke length.
- The improved air injection system for more uniform inflation of the diaphragm is used in surface abrasion testing and a superior clamping mechanism for repeatable specimen tension.
- Conforms to ASTM D3514/D3885/D3886
Automatic Scratch Tester
- Scratch resistance specifies a defined test method that determines the resistance of a single coating or a multi-coat system of paint, varnish, or related product to penetration by scratching with a scratch stylus loaded with a specified load.
- This test helps compare the scratch resistance of different coatings. It is ideal for providing relative ratings for a series of coated panels exhibiting significant differences in scratch resistance.
- This instrument has two loading systems. One is constant-loading, the loading to panels is constant during the scratch test, and the test results show maximum weights which don’t damage coatings. The other is variable loading, the loading on which stylus loads test panel is increased continuously from zero during the whole test, then measure the distance from the final point to a point when the paint appears scratch
- Conforms to ISO1518
- Taber abrasion is a test to determine a plastic’s resistance to abrasion. Abrasion resistance defines the ability of a material to withstand mechanical action such as rubbing, scraping, or erosion. Abrasion tests may be difficult to compare, but we can evaluate weight loss.
- Taber Abrader helps in quality & process control, research & development, and material evaluation. We use it to test a wide range of materials like plastics, paints, fabrics, coatings, laminates, leather, paper, ceramics, carpeting, safety glazing, etc.
- Confirms to ISO 5470/9352/3573/4586-2/7784-2, ASTM C217/D1044/D3389/D4060/D5342 and DIN 52347/53109/53754/53799
Rub Resistance Tester
- Rub Resistance Tester is applicable in rub abrasion resistance test of printing works, a light-sensitive layer of PS boards, and coating layers of related products.
- It can analyze the affairs of lower abrasion assistance, ink layer falling-off, lower printability of PS boards, and rigid coating layers of other products.
- It applies to labels, folding cartons, corrugated boxes, inserts, circulars, and other packaging materials with graphics on a flat substrate.
- Conforms to ASTM D5264
Horizontal Flammability Tester
To determine the comparative burn rates and burn resistance of plastics, rubber, and textiles, particularly those for automotive interior use. Conforms to MS 300-08, ISO 3795, ASTM D5132 and FMVSS 302
- Our moisture analyzer is a hi-tech measuring instrument intended for quickly determining relative moisture content, dry mass content, and other parameters in samples of different substances.
- A high-performance weighing cell with 0.001% moisture content readability separated from the heating source ensures the best moisture results even when measuring low moisture contents. Method flexibility ensures reliable results for any sample type in research, quality control, and in-process control.
- Precise halogen heating gives fast and reliable results.
- Samples are in the form of granules, pellets, powders, liquids, and paste.
- The capacity of samples is up to 50g with an accuracy of 0.1mg.
- Drying Temperature up to 250°C
UV weathering Chamber
- The ultraviolet rays of sunlight are the main factor that damages weathering resistance of most materials. We use UV lamps to simulate the short wave part of sunlight to produce visible light and infrared light. To satisfy various tests, we choose different wavelength UV lamps because each type of UV lamp emits differing irradiance energy and wavelength.
- UVA-340 Lamp: UVA-340 Lamp can simulate a shortwave ultraviolet light of sunlight, and the wavelength range is from 365 nm to 295 nm.
- UVB 313 Lamp: UVB-313 lamp emits stronger shortwave ultraviolet light when compared to ultraviolet rays on Earth. Thus we can accelerate the material aging process. However, this lamp may cause some unrealistic material damage. The process is mainly for quality control, research and development, and testing materials that need strong weather resistance.
- Irradiance Range: 0.3-1.55 W/m2.
- Types of damage include color change, gloss loss, chalking, cracking, crazing, hazing, blistering, embrittlement, strength loss, and oxidation.
- The weathering chamber comes with Black panel temperature control, Irradiance, Condensation, and Water spraying.
- Fluorescent UV light can emulate the effect of sunshine, while condensation and water spray systems emulate rain and dew.
- We carry out a typical test cycle with powerful irradiation of the UV lights or in the dark and wet condensation period with 100% relative humidity.
- Types of sample: Plastics, Rubber, Paints and Coatings, Automotive Interior and exterior molded parts, etc.
- Conforms to ASTM G151/G154/D4587/D4329, ISO 4892-1/4892-3/11507, BS 2782: Part 5 and SAE J2020.
Xenon Weathering Chamber
- The xenon arc chamber reproduces the damage caused by full-spectrum sunlight and rain. In a few days or weeks, it reveals the damage that occurs over months or years outdoors.
- The chamber utilizes three separate xenon lamps for a large capacity, which is ideal for exposing large, three-dimensional parts or components.
- Chamber equipped with standard humidity control, black panel temperature control, and Water spraying.
- We use this apparatus to induce property changes associated with the end-use conditions, including the effects of sunlight, moisture, and heat.
Adjustable Irradiance Range
- 0.3～1.0 W/m2 (Single point of control：340nm)
- · 0.5～1.8 W/m2 (Single point of control：420nm)
- · 30 W/m2～120 W/m2 (Full spectrum from 300～400nm)
- Conforms to ASTM G155/D4459/D2565, ISO 4892-2.
- Types of sample: Plastics, Rubber, Paints and Coatings, Automotive Interior and exterior molded parts, etc.
Melt Flow Index (MFI)
- MFI is a measure of the ease of flow of the melt of a thermoplastic polymer. It is defined as the mass of polymer, in grams, flowing in ten minutes through a capillary of a specific diameter and length by a pressure applied through a prescribed alternative gravimetric weight for alternatively prescribed temperatures.
- MFI is an important parameter to determine the property of the polymer to flow at the melting point under the application of the standard weight. It provides the necessary data on the mass flow rate of the polymer per 10 min.
- The melt flow index is an indirect measure of the viscosity of thermoplastics. The higher the melt flow index, the lower the thickness of the melted plastic.
- Conforms to ASTM D1238 and ISO 1133-1
High-Low Temperature & Humidity Cabinet
- Temperature and humidity testing determine how automotive components, subsystems, and complete systems behave in severe environments due to elevated temperatures and high or fluctuating relative humidity.
- Temperature/humidity tests study the effects of climatic changes on automotive components such as mechanical failures (due to rapid water or frost formation), optical failures (fogging), water tightness (package) failures, material degradation (epoxy coatings, etc.), cracking, Crazing, Deformation, Discoloration and much more.
- Environmental changes in materials like temperature and humidity strongly influence manufactured products’ performance. It can be exterior conditions where weather factors change with fluctuating seasons or artificial environments room conditions.
- Temperature is the most common product of stress found in environmental fluctuations. Temperature changes cause products to expand or contract. The rates vary depending on the type of material tested. Plastics react differently than metals, and we specify the temperature testing parameters of the materials involved in the testing procedure.
- Humidity is the second leading environmental stressor affecting manufactured products. Humidity fluctuations cause expansion and contraction, but environmental testing technicians are more concerned about how humidity affects the internal functions of products. Moisture penetration, or leakage, is another major contributor to oxidation.
- Conforms to MS 210-05, 210-12, and other engineering standards
Universal Testing Machine
- Universal Testing Machines comes as electromechanical and hydraulic systems to perform the following testing requirements:
- Static testing, Tensile, Compression, Bend, Peel, Tear, Shear, Friction, Puncture, in addition to mechanical tests on polymer and other polymer products.
- It includes plastics, rubbers, composites, films, fabrics, foam, leather, gaskets, yarns, etc.
- Parameters like Tensile stress/strain, Compression Stress/Strain, Flexural Stress/Strain, Modulus of elasticity, Tear strength, Peel Strength, Adhesion Strength, and other mechanical properties.
Performance Test in Automotive Interior and Exterior Molded Parts as per Hyundai/Kia MS/ES Specifications include:
- Heat Ageing Resistance
- Heat Cycle Resistance (Hot, cold & Humidity cycle)
- Fading Resistance (Xenon)
- UV Weathering resistance
- Chemical Resistance
- Scratch Resistance
- Wear Resistance
- Impact resistance (RT & Cold Impact)
- Heavy Metals & Hazardous Substance
- Internal Void