Physical properties are often used as indicators of material quality. Constellation has a wide range of instrumentation to determine the intrinsic properties of a variety of materials. Solids can be characterized based on their hardness, density, melting point, and glass transition temperature. For powders, properties such as density, particle size, and melting point can provide valuable information about material performance. Liquids can be assessed for surface tension, specific gravity, viscosity, and freezing point.
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.