Composition Deformulation & Reformulation Best Practices
Simply put, deformulation is figuring out what something is made of and/or how it is made. It is often referred to as “reverse engineering.” Deformulation consists of a series of analytical methods and techniques used to determine the composition of a material. Also of interest, is how the various chemical components which make up an item interact with each other.
Expert deformulation services can include:
- material identification – identifying the makeup of an item
- separation – complete dissection of a material into its component parts
- qualitative and quantitative analysis – very detailed identification and quantification of each component
The level of accuracy on this type of analysis can range from several percentage points to parts per million or billion, depending on the goals for the deformulation. The greater the accuracy, the more expensive the deformulation. Simple material identification may cost just a few hundred dollars. A more involved separation could work out to be in the thousands. And the most complex deformulations, normally needed for extremely sensitive issue like legal matters involving patent disputes, include significant qualitative and quantitative analysis and could have costs exceeding $100,000.
Uses of Deformulation
There are several reasons deformulation information may be desired. Perhaps a product is not performing as well as it had in the past, making it necessary to identify all the components in the current formulation to see what may have changed. There may be a desire to find a method to improve a product to make it perform better, so a deformulation of the exact components and how they interact with each other can help determine where things might be refined and upgraded. Another situation could be testing multiple options of a product formulation to see which would likely perform best for the desired use.
One of the more common reason for conducting a deformulation involves competitive intelligence. The goal of this type of reverse engineering is for a manufacturer to understand the composition of a competitor’s item and use this data to improve their own products to make them perform better than other similar products on the market.
From Deformulation to Reformulation – The Ultimate Test
Once a thorough deformulation is performed, the deformulated items are often re-created and tested. In the case of chemistry, this endeavor is known to as reformulation. One reason to do this is to validate the deformulation process. Many analytical companies do not offer reformulation services. Those that do often simply provide a sample based on the outcome of the deformulation work. If their deformation data is lacking in any way, the reformulated material will not perform the same way as the material that was analyzed, often resulting in wasted time, money, and opportunity.
Investing in Deformulation and Reformulation Services
When searching for a partner to help deformulate a product or material, it pays to do your homework first. Deformulation services can vary dramatically from one lab to another in terms of price, services provided, and the quality of work performed. A formulation company like National Polymer has as the end goal of a deformulation-reformulation process to provide a working prototype, ultimately one that matches or exceeds the performance of the original sample. With a complete detailed analysis which we provide, companies can proceed through full production and commercialization of a viable product. Only with the comprehensive type of service offered by National Polymer will a client achieve the anticipated goals set out at the onset of the project.
Here are some of the ways National Polymer’s services can help:
- Developing new products
- Improving existing products
- Testing product variations
- Analyzing competitors’ products
- Legal matters such as patent infringement
The experts at National Polymer welcome the opportunity to learn more about your deformulation (and reformulation) project so we can identify how we can help you meet and exceed your desired outcomes. Call us at (800) 679-0477 and ask to talk with one of our deformulation specialists.
Visit our website for more information on our Deformulation services by clicking here.