Laboratory support in the choice of materials and raw materials

The choice of materials: a key issue for manufacturers

Faced with the diversity and chemical complexity of materials, industrial companies are confronted with recurring problems regarding the choice of materials to use in the manufacture of a new product. The characteristics of the materials used will, in fact, define the performance of the final product and govern its life cycle; it is therefore essential to opt for quality materials, compatible with the environment and the use of the product, and having the desired attributes for the product (adhesion, protection, design…).

Chemical analysis, characterization and, more generally, knowledge of materials make it possible to anticipate several classic cases of failure or non-compliance: swelling, chemical deterioration, rapid wear, migration, delamination…. Thus, the choice of materials is an essential step to ensure the strength, durability and physical appearance of your product. Manufacturers must study the regulatory context, supply constraints, costs etc…, but the final choice will essentially take into account the chemical characteristics of the materials.

For this purpose, the support of a specialized laboratory such as FILAB enables to provide scientific answers to these industrial issues, in order to assist manufacturers in their product development project.

Customized support for unique needs

More than an analytical laboratory, FILAB supports industrial companies in the design and improvement of their products. Thanks to the know-how and experience of its doctors and engineers, FILAB studies your needs and offers you adapted, innovative and reliable solutions.

This was the case, for example, for one of our customers and a major player in the luxury industry. He asked FILAB to assist him in the development of a new product, unique in its manufacturing process and its very targeted marketing. The problem concerned the manufacture of an additive part and the complexity of the choice of material resulted from several constraints, which are often found in customer problems:

– A non-standardized manufacturing technique: when you talk about traditional manufacturing, you talk about a series of products that are not very homogeneous. The chosen material must therefore be flexible enough to adapt to the surface irregularities of the main container.

– Material compatibility: in order to avoid the risk of migration or failure, the material of the additive part must be perfectly compatible with the main material so as not to affect its properties.

– Specific marketing conditions: it is necessary to take into account the environment in which the product will be marketed in order to orientate its reflection according to certain constraints such as the climate of the country, the transport conditions, the regulatory differences…

– The urgency of the situation: the production environment is often confronted with very strong time constraints. Thus, customers are looking to FILAB for reactive responses in order not to delay production deadlines.

The choice of materials becomes more complicated in this type of unique and non-standardized manufacturing. The elements of comparison are limited and access to information is more difficult. To guarantee the reliability of the product, in a luxury industry that leaves little room for industrial error, the support of a scientific laboratory was therefore justified.


A methodological approach based on analysis and proximity

FILAB offers support and services to meet the specific needs of its clients. Based on a methodological study and fed by regular exchanges with the client, the analysis of our experts is broken down into several stages:

1. understanding the customer’s needs through a field study

To better understand the customers and their needs, our team visits the production site(s) to study the manufacturing conditions of the product concerned and the problems encountered. We also invite our customers to discover our laboratory and our analytical equipment for a better understanding of our services. The relational aspect and the availability of our interlocutors represent important values at FILAB and are an essential factor in the success of a project.

2. qualifying materials through appropriate analytical techniques

FILAB has state-of-the-art techniques to characterize the chemical nature of the material and to study its resistance and behavior over time. For example, aging, migration, and compliance tests are performed in our laboratories to analyze the compatibility of pre-selected materials with the final product and its environment. Also, our experts elaborate bibliographical studies to complete the scientific analysis and propose more reliable solutions.

3. material selection and process support

The studies and analysis carried out in-house allow us to propose several scenarios to our customers to help them advance in their project, with concrete and viable data as support. However, the support does not stop there; it is important for FILAB to ensure the viability of the material within the production process. For this purpose, FILAB may develop pre-washing solutions, surface treatment methods or even work on more precise specifications upon receipt of the material, in order to optimize the characteristics identified on the chosen material.

This example of a project shows the ability of FILAB’s teams to respond quickly to industrial problems, by offering services that combine analysis and expertise with applied R&D or process support, and by adapting to the specific constraints of each client. The centralization of skills allows us to handle your projects in their continuity, with single contacts and greater confidentiality.  

Would you like to call on FILAB to assist you in your choice of materials? Contact us, without obligation and in complete confidentiality!

The positive aspects of FILAB

  • A highly qualified team

  • Responsiveness in responding to and processing requests

  • A complete analytical park of 2100m²

  • Tailor-made support

Thomas ROUSSEAU Scientific and Technical Director
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