We provide expert material characterisation and sample testing services for a range of critical material properties for:
- Suspensions and emulsions
- Polymer solutions, gels and hydrocolloids
- Waxes and resins
- Powders and melts
…and a host of other materials.
Our rapid turnaround service is backed up with all the support and advice you need to ensure you:
- Understand the test methods performed and the metrics obtained
- Understand how the results gathered relate to, or predict, product performance
- Can confidently discuss the work performed with your colleagues, associates and management
The links below take you through to further details.
Rheological profiles offer powerful insights into the processing, storage, handling and performance properties of a wide range of liquids and semisolids. The commonly-measured properties include:
- Viscosity: The resistance to flow of your product across a range of conditions
- Yield stress: The stress necessary to initiate flow of your product
- Thixotropy: The rate and extent of breakdown on shearing and recovery at rest
- Viscoelasticity: Storage modulus and loss modulus, tan delta and normal stresses
- Creep tests: Creep and recovery for zero-shear viscosity and compliance measurements
Interfacial and Surface Tension, Contact Angle, Surface energy and Interfacial Rheology Measurements
We perform a range of surface and interfacial testing including:
- Contact angle, including advancing and receding contact angle, equilibrium and dynamic wetting
- Surface tension (at an air/liquid interface) and interfacial tension (at a liquid/liquid interface)
- Surface free energy characterisation of substrates and solid materials
- Powder wettability
- Interfacial rheology: Measuring the viscoelastic moduli and viscosity of the liquid/liquid interface in an emulsion or the gas/liquid interface in a foam
We perform an extensive range of liquid viscosity measurements on a wide range of sample types. Certificates of analysis include values in centiPoise or Pascal. seconds for dynamic viscosity and centiStokes or mm^2/s for kinematic viscosity
Tests available include:
- Viscosity measurements across a range of shear rates for pump specification, pipe flow calculations, spreading, coating and application.
- Viscosity at low stresses: For predicting storage stability and settling, sagging and slumping.
- Viscosity/temperature profiles: For process, pumping, handling predictions
- Brookfield viscosity: Simple spindle viscometer measurements
Tribology is an exciting, relatively new method for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industry. Tribology involves taking measurements of the lubricating qualities of products in contact with a range of soft surfaces to predict the interactions of materials with biological structures such as the skin, mucous membranes, tongue or palate. We have also developed methods to consider the impact of salivary proteins such as mucin on lubrication in the oral cavity.
We provide a range of powder flowability measurements and related characterisations, for anybody looking to handle bulk solids, perform hopper design or fill and transport powders. Tests include:
- Shear cell measurements for cohesion, angle of internal friction and flow function
- Wall friction measurements
- Compaction, consolidation and bulk density measurements
- Aeration and permeability
- Dynamic powder rheology measurements for basic flow energy and specific energy
- Sticky point and elastic behaviour
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) is a subset of thermal analysis techniques for characterising viscoelastic properties as a function of temperature or frequency. DMA can explore properties such as the glass transition, damping properties, relaxation properties and decomposition under specific environmental conditions or phase changes such as melt, curing or crystallisation.
We have a range of equipment and probes for performing a variety of texture tests and Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) on foods and other products, including
- Compression and back extrusion for gel strength measurements and viscous behaviour
- Cutting and bite force
- Syringe force and extrusion force measurements
- Acoustic envelope capture for crispiness predictions
- Pull-off measures for tack and adhesion testing
- Three-point bending
- Puncture strength
We perform thermal conductivity, thermal effusivity and specific heat capacity measurements of solids, powders, pastes and liquids.
Measurements can be performed across a range of temperatures from sub-zero to 200 Celcius.
Dynamic Foam Analysis can be used to determine important properties of foams such as:
- Liquid drainage
- Foam height and volume
- Bubble size distribution
- Foam stability
- Foam half-life
- Foam ability
Using a combination of rheological tests and microscopy imaging, we can look at the material structure under shear deformation. This enables us to see and predict the response from the material under storage conditions.
- Melt Profiling
- Cross Polarization
- Brightfield & Fluorescence Microscopy
Optical Microscopy Imaging and Video
Leica DM750, with phase contrast and cross-polarization