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Polymer Testing

2603, 2013

Will Your Car Tires One Day Be Made From a Desert Plant?

March 26th, 2013|Polymer Testing|

Researchers are working constantly to find more sustainable means of producing materials that the average person relies on every day. The projects that get the most press are the ones that have to do with green energy. Recently, reports have come out that the temperature of the Earth is increasing even faster than scientists had initially predicted. This has led to renewed interest in topics like solar power and wind power. But the way that people harness energy isn’t the only concern, though it has the highest profile. Take for example the tires on a car.
Most tires that are widely available are composed mostly of synthetic rubber. The problem with that is the fact that synthetic rubbers are petroleum based, just like plastics. Take into consideration how much rubber and plastic is used on an annual basis and it’s easy to see why the dependency on petroleum makes people so uneasy. It is costly and pumps millions of tons of pollution into the atmosphere constantly. But researchers in the southwest United States may be onto something that could potentially change the way we source our rubber. Though they are still in the polymer testing stages, there is hope that the desert plant guayule may produce suitable biopolymers that will create natural rubber to replace synthetic rubbers and current natural rubbers that are tropical based.
Guayule, which grows in Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, has a curious history. Between the 1920s and the 1940s, the plant drew intense interest as a rubber alternative when blight decimated Brazilian sources. Similarly, it was used to create latex during a brief period in World War II when America was cut off from Malaysia, where it got much of its latex. Now, with the focus on finding sustainable means of production, researchers have turned their attention back to the plant as a source of useful polymers.
Researchers believe that after successful polymer testing, guayule will be considered a serious source for natural rubber polymers. It’s greener and it doesn’t compete for resources with local food crops. The hope is that once research proves that the plant has major potential, that then steps can be taken to turn a strain of guayule into an industrial crop that is grown and harvested specifically for its natural rubber polymers. This crop of guayule would be developed in such a way that it would constantly produce tire-grade materials.
Is this relatively unknown desert plant one of the keys to sustainable development? It could very well be.
801, 2013

The Critical Role of Polymer Testing

January 8th, 2013|Polymer Testing, Polymer Testing Labs|

There are a lot of potential roadblocks standing in the way of manufacturing firms that are striving to get a new product to market ahead of their competition. This is especially true in the many fields whose products are based off of complex polymer blends such as the medical device, automotive, and construction industries. When firms create products designed with newly formulated materials, they have to first put these materials through numerous statistically-sound tests to determine their suitability.
These new materials need to be evaluated to determine critical points such what temperature ranges the material works within, its strength under different conditions, availability/costs of raw materials, and how coatings or other products that it may be used with react with one another. Using the proper polymer testing laboratory will ensure that all testing that is necessary can be performed at a single location.
Polymer testing labs that routinely deal with customized work will also be able to solve any complex problems that arise, which will reduce both costs and a product testing timeline. This difference in time saved, from being able to coordinate with one instead of many laboratories, can be the difference between getting your product into your respective market first or last versus your competitors.
Polymers and plastics serve many different functions as parts of larger products. They act as everything from the dust covers and external barriers that protect delicate circuits to the load bearing parts that support heavy machinery and absorb mechanical vibration. Naturally, these materials must be graded on a number of factors before they can actually be used.
These tests help ensure that products are ready for their intended uses before they’re implemented as consumer or industrial goods. This assessment process is extremely detailed, yet it nonetheless cuts down lead time by eliminating trial and error and identifying potential problems before they develop during critical trial runs. Proper testing and quality control checks put into place early will also help prevent or reduce the damage caused by product failure which otherwise may lead to massive product recalls.
Our polymer testing also allows firms to optimize their manufacturing processes by highlighting key variations that occur between batches. The documentation we generate is detailed enough that it can be used as legal evidence in patent cases.
Our expertise helps to ensure that your products reflect your firm as a provider of reliable goods. By drawing on our vast repositories of specialized chemical knowledge, we help firms deliver better industry solutions without having to invest as much in in-house development.