Chemical assays determine the quality of raw materials using quantitative analysis techniques. Many raw materials used in manufacturing processes are tested using classical methods, such as titrations and gravimetric analysis. Organic chemicals and solvents can be assayed using gas chromatography and infrared spectroscopy. Chemical purity is typically determined from the amount of impurities present in a material. The methods used to determine impurities range from classical “wet chemical” tests to trace element analysis using ICP-OES, ICP-MS, WDXRF and C/S/O/N/H elemental analyzers.
Contamination in the manufacturing process often leads to costly production losses. Identifying the contaminant can help pinpoint the source of the problem and minimize negative effects. Constellation has the tools to effectively analyze and identify many types of contamination.
Incoming material inspection and verification is an important part of quality control in the aerospace, automotive and defense industries. Materials used in manufacturing processes are routinely analyzed for adherence to quality specifications, including SAE-AMS and military specifications (MIL-Spec). With an extensive array of analytical instrumentation and experienced chemists and scientists, Constellation can perform incoming chemical and physical tests on a wide range of materials. The laboratory provides testing using US Pharmacopeia, Reagent Chemical, and ASTM methodologies, as well as procedures developed to meet the customer’s
Manufacturers often encounter unknown materials in their processes. Such materials include an unknown substance discovered in the manufacturing process, a suspect material from a new supplier, or a poorly-performing material. Constellation specializes in the identification of most types of materials, including metals, plastics, minerals and liquids. Most materials can be identified based on chemical composition and physical properties. The material identifications can range from extensive analyses to ensure high-quality materials to positive material identification (PMI) screening methods for rapid comparison of unknown materials to known samples.
Constellation can provide analysis of the first several atomic layers of a solid sample using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and/or Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). These techniques provide semi-quantitative analysis of the composition of the solid surface. These techniques are the instrumental methods of choice for characterization of such things as surface contamination, chemical imperfections and corrosion. Coupling the techniques with inert ion sputtering provides a semi-quantitative composition of the solid sample as a function of depth.