How Deformulation Labs Work

Deformulation labs, like other analytical laboratories, work under highly controlled conditions, with the specific goal of identifying components of unknown formulas. The following is a typical workflow for a Deformulation Lab:

  1. The sample of interest is submitted for deformulation analysis.
  2. The sample is “logged-in” with the following information:
    • Sample I.D.
    • Name and contact information of the submitter.
    • Date and time
    • Information of interest. For Deformulation, it is normally compositional information along with reporting ranges (Qualitative, Quantitative to 10% level, 1% level, 0.1% level (equals 1000 ppm), etc.
  3. The sample is “worked-up”, meaning it is mixed, ground, digested, extracted, etc. in order to ensure homogeneity and so that it can be introduced into the Analytical Equipment.
  4. The sample is sent to the various analytical departments for testing. Types of testing include:
    • Chromatography: Gas(GC), Liquid(LC), Gel Permeation (GPC). These techniques separate materials for further analysis, often in-line.
    • Spectroscopy: Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) , Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Mass Spectroscopy (MS), etc. These techniques identify materials.
    • Thermal Analysis: Differential Scanning Calorimetry(DSC), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis(DMA), Thermal Gravitation Analysis(TGA), etc. These methods characterize the sample by giving information such as constituents, glass transition temperature, storage modulus or stiffness, all related to temperature.
    • Microscopy: Optical, Electron, etc.
    • Viscosity: Kinematic (Flow over time), Rheological (Flow with shear force).
    • Strength Testing. A whole host of testing based on applied force. Most common is tensile testing.
  5. Report is submitted giving results of the analytical study along with a summary of what was found.

In some cases, reformulation or a prototype is desired. In these cases, quality deformulation labs will refer the matter to a competent formulation laboratory to re-create the material. Advanced formulation laboratories can assist with prototypes, scale-up and production services.

National Polymer is a premier deformulation lab with extensive experience in polymer deformulation, reformulation, and reverse engineering. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about how we can help make your next deformulation project a success. You can speak with an deformulation specialist via a no cost, no obligation consultation by calling (800) 679-0477 or by using this online contact form.