Navigation Menu

About Us

Credentials

Problem Solving Examples

Confidentiality

Frequently Asked Questions

Techniques Offered

Contact Us

Press Coverage

Site Map

Home

American Research and Testing Inc.: Frequently Asked Questions

Custom Chemical Analysis and Problem Solving

Specification/Compliance Testing

Consulting/ Research/ Product Development

Litigation/ Insurance Support

Product Claims Verification

Other

There's an unknown substance on my product. Can you identify it? We certainly can. Furthermore, if you give us samples of or information about the materials used in your process, we can tell you whether the unknown substance could be part of your process or is a contaminant from an external source.

Can you determine why the {coating, adhesive} we use on our product failed? Not only can we determine why the coating/adhesive failed, we can also make recommendations as to how to avoid future failures.

I'm concerned that my competitor has copied my product. Can you investigate? We can assay your competitor's product for ingredients like yours.

My competitor has come up with a superior product. Can you find out what's in it and how to make it? When we deformulate a product, we approach the project in three phases. The first phase is a survey analysis, in which we characterize the product for number of ingredients and identity of one major ingredient that is not water or solvent. The next phase is the "analysis" phase, in which we find out the composition of the product - the quantity and generic identity of each component. The analysis report also includes a listing of the function of the ingredients we find, as well as a list of potential suppliers of the raw materials. Even though we are unable to identify the brand or grade of the ingredients, some customers find this to be sufficient information. In the final phase, which we call the "rebuild" phase, we actually rebuild the product, "tweaking" the formula with various grades of raw ingredients to obtain optimum performance, and determining how to add and mix the ingredients for small batches. When you contract with us to perform the "rebuild" phase, we guarantee that we will deliver a product prototype that performs as well as the original on pre-agreed functions.

Can you help me find out if my part is made out of the plastic I specified? Absolutely! We are experts in polymer identification.

I am trying to sell/purchase/distribute {a consumer product, a paint, a sealant}, and want to know if the product is compliant to {Green Seal, LEED, CARB, AQMD, EPA} specifications for VOC. What do I do? American Research and Testing Inc has considerable expertise in testing VOC of consumer products and coatings by EPA Method 24, CARB Method 310, and AQMD Method 304, as well as direct assay by ASTM D6886. Follow this link to learn more about what we can do to test your product for compliance to Federal or State VOC regulations.

I am trying to sell something to {an aerospace company, a military contractor, an automotive manufacturer, the government}, but they want to know if my product meets specifications before they will buy it. What do I do? First, find out what the requirement is from your customer contract officer or purchasing agent. This is usually documented in a written specification. Try to get a copy of the specification. Phone or email us to see if we can perform the type of testing you need, then fax us the pertinent parts of the specification along with a description of your product. We will review the specification and give you a price and turn around time for performing the tests. Once we perform the tests, we give you a report, which you show to your customer as proof of compliance.

Our company quality policy requires that we document that incoming raw materials meet certain specifications. Where do we start? If you know what your specifications are, simply contract with us to perform the required tests. You can use our test report in your documentation. If you are starting from scratch, you can retain us as consultants to develop your raw material specifications.

Can you tell me whether my {plastic, fabric, rubber} is strong enough? We can perform all types of materials strength testing: tensile, compressive, flexural, tear, etc. If you have a performance criterion for your product, we can determine whether it complies. Alternatively, we can compare the properties of one product to another to determine which is stronger.

Can you find out if the {textile, plastic, composite} I {sell, buy} meets flammability requirements? We can perform small scale vertical, horizontal, and 45° flammability tests per CPSC, FAA, ASTM, FTMS, and NFPA methods.

I have an idea for a product, but don't know whether it's possible. Where do I start? Contract with us to perform a feasibility study. We will search the commercial, scientific, and patent literature to determine whether your chemical concept is possible in theory. We will write a report describing our findings and possible implementations or reactions, and we will give you our opinion on the feasibility of developing a product within the constraints of your idea. If we think the idea is feasible, then you may contract with us to develop prototypes of your product.

Can you prepare a Material Safety Data Sheet for my product? Indeed. We follow the OSHA format for MSDS preparation. Usually, we use documented hazard data of the ingredients to estimate the hazardous component, toxicity, and labeling sections. We empirically determine the applicable physical properties (boiling point, freezing point, evaporation rate, vapor pressure, vapor density, solubility in water, specific gravity, percent volatile, flash point, explosive limits, and reactivity).

Is the plastic I want to use for {food packaging, food storage} acceptable? If you tell us what type of plastic it is, and what its intended use is, we can perform the appropriate FDA extraction tests to determine whether your plastic is acceptable for contact with food or beverages.

Can you find suppliers of the raw materials that I need for a project? Contract with us to search the trade literature for you. We have access to many supplier catalogs, as well as on-line database subscriptions. We can also perform raw material cost calculations for various batch sizes and arrange to have samples sent to you for evaluation.

Do you perform contract research? "Research" is in our name to indicate our interest, availability, and ability to perform contract research projects. We have performed contract research for government and private agencies, and are always interested in considering a new Request For Proposal.

Our company needs the services of a chemist for a long term project. How can you help us? Outsource your project to our laboratory! Our chemists are versatile and highly competent. Contact us to tell us what you need, and we will submit a proposal to you.

Can you help us improve our product? If your product can be better, we can address the chemical issues that may improve it. Initially, we would sit down with you and understand what performance criterion you wish to improve. Then we would identify what chemical changes could be made to theoretically improve performance. Finally, we would make prototypes of the "improved" formulations, and either evaluate them for performance or give to you to evaluate for performance.

I need the advice of a chemist from time to time... You may retain us to serve as consultants on most matters relating to chemistry, chemicals, materials, and chemical products. We have extensive formulation, analysis, and literature search experience, and are experts in explaining technical matters to the non-scientist.

Can you provide expert advice or testimony for a civil litigation matter? We are experts in problem solving and analysis of unknown compounds, with the goal of providing sufficient information to support your client's claim or helping you decide whether your client should settle the case. We can also review data that you have obtained in the discovery process and explain it to help you develop your strategy.

Can you determine whether a competitor is violating our patent? If the alleged patent violation has to do with chemical composition, chemical reaction, or chemical performance, we can help you. We would review the claims of your patent, and then test or analyze the competitor's product to see if it matched any of the claims. It is important that we work very closely with you and your patent attorney on such a project.

Can you determine the cause of a product defect or failure? If the product defect or failure is related to chemical composition or chemical contaminants, we can determine the cause of the failure or defect. Usually we compare the defective product with an exemplar product and its raw materials, and find out what is different between the "good" vs. "bad".

My company makes a product that we think is better than our competitor's. Can you help us prove it? If your product is better than your competitor's in an objectively measurable way, we can help you. Using standardized test methods, or adapting existing test methods to your product, we can perform physical evaluation tests to determine whether it cleans better, lasts longer, acts more quickly, is stronger, is more durable, is more resistant, etc..

Now that you've tested our product, may we put your name on our product label so people will know how good our product is?

Who are your typical customers? Many of our customers are small manufacturers who have occasional need for a chemistry expert. Some of our customers are law firms or insurance companies who need an expert chemist on their case. Some of our customers are entrepreneurs with a great idea for a product. And finally, some of our customers are government agencies and private concerns who contract with us to perform a research project.

Can you supply me a copy of an ASTM procedure? We do not sell, distribute, or provide copies of ASTM documents. We suggest you go to the ASTM Store to browse the method titles and purchase your own copy.

How quickly can you complete my project? We are usually able to start your project within days of receiving the sample. Our goal is to complete assays, unknown identification, material performance tests, MSDS preparation, literature search, etc. within two weeks. More complex problem solving projects and product deformulation will take longer.

How much will my project cost? Contact us by email or by phone with a description of your project, and we will be happy to provide an obligation-free cost proposal.

How do I pay?/ What are your payment terms? We require a retainer for new clients, product development projects, consulting projects, and for litigation support projects. For the smaller projects, our terms are COD until we have established a long-term business relationship with you. Once you have established credit with us, our payment terms are Net 30. Payments may be made by check, money order, electronic transfer, or Visa/ Mastercard/ Discover. We require advance payment by electronic or wire transfer for all international projects. American Research and Testing Inc. is certified by TrustWave as PCI-DSS compliant.

How much sample should I send? That will depend on what we are going to do for you. We will let you know how much sample to send when we give you a price quote.

Where should I send samples? Be sure to send samples for delivery during business hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00-4:30 Pacific Time. Our receiving address is the same as our facility address:

American Research and Testing Inc.
14934 S. Figueroa St.
Gardena CA 90248