3 min

In-house analysis leads to quicker lab results

Many compliance checks involve chemical testing – checking samples taken on-site to make sure they meet regulations. The Kiwa Analytical Chemical Lab provides the experts and equipment needed.

Chemical analysis of samples like paint and plastics is specialized work and requires complex machinery and expertise. Kiwa previously worked in partnership with external laboratories in Germany and Denmark to test samples chemically. This sometimes meant long waiting times for customers, and additional costs.

Save time with in-house analysis

Kiwa was looking for a way to save time in order to get quicker lab results. The best wat to do so, was to have in-house analysis of the lab tests. This not only saves time, but also money. The idea for the Kiwa Analytical Chemical Lab was born.

Kiwa’s Bert Gerritsen, one of the lab’s founding members, said there are big benefits: “With the Kiwa Analytical Chemical Lab, we can now handle testing from collecting the samples to delivering the final reports. Because it’s in -house, we can respond quicker and it’s more efficient, so customers will get the results faster.”

Three-stage process

The lab carries out chemical analyses using a process called liquid chromatography or mass spectrometry. Plastic samples must be prepared before analysis; this involves spitting them into microsamples. They are then exposed to extreme heat in a process called pyrolysis. The heat breaks the sample down even more, leaving molecular-sized pieces to be analyzed.

Chemical fingerprint

The lab uses a gas chromatography/ flame ionization detection machine (GC-FID) to analyze the samples. These are expensive machines that require skilled operators. The molecules are first separated using gas chromatography, then measured using FID. The result is a chart showing what molecules the sample contains – a sort of chemical fingerprint.

Centralization of specialized work

Gerritsen explains the process with an example: “A Kiwa inspector collects samples of the paint coating on a ship and technicians in our lab check for toxic compounds like bromine and fluorine, to make sure they do not exceed regulated limits.” The new lab centralizes this specialized work, taking samples from all around the world. “In the end, this is about safety and quality: safety for the environment and high quality chemical analysis,’ adds Gerritsen. ‘With the new lab, we control this and give a more streamlined service to our customers.”

Analysing chemical substances into every detail.