Deformulation analysis (or chemical reverse engineering) in a laboratory

Deformulation or “chemical reverse engineering”

Deformulation or “chemical reverse engineering” of a commercial product or a solvent made up of a complex mixture consists in determining the nature and the quantities of raw materials present in a formulation through various chemical analyses. This procedure can be done on different products, formulas and materials : paints, plastics (polymers), composite materials, varnishes, aqueous formulations…

The success or failure of a deformulation analysis depends on having thorough knowledge of what the product is used for and on the implementation of rigorous analytical techniques allowing for the chemical composition of mineral and organic portions to be characterized. This approach involves a set of varied and sometimes cutting-edge techniques :

  • Gas chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (GCMS)
  • Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometer (LCMS)
  • Mass spectrometry (MS)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • Fourier transform infrared microscopy (FTIR)
  • DSC
  • XRD
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM)

Deformulation analyses can help overcome certain challenges :

  • To analyze and determine the composition of an unknown mixture (paint, glue…)
  • To inspect and confirm the conformity of a given substance based on its safety data sheet (SDS)
  • To compare the composition of multiple products using deformulation analyses (ex : double-sourcing or multi-sourcing)

Relying on experience and its cutting-edge analytical fleet (2100m² analytical laboratory), FILAB can assist you with your most complex deformation needs, whatever the nature of your sample: aqueous solution, powder, polymer, ceramic, metallic material...

How to contact us ?

For more information about our deformulation services, contact one of our experts via email at , over the phone +33(0)3 80 52 32 05 or get a quote online here.  


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