Auger Electron Spectroscopy Blog Posts

What’s the Difference Between ESCA Analysis and Auger Electron Spectroscopy?

ESCA Analysis vs. Auger Electron SpectroscopyAll manufacturers strive to produce the highest quality products for their customers. As a result, materials testing services from a materials testing lab like Innovatech Labs are frequently used to ensure that product quality.

Materials testing can uncover the causes of product failures, identify contaminants or toxins, and also determine the chemical composition of samples. When it comes to analyzing the surfaces of products, Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (ESCA) and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) are two commonly used materials testing techniques. While both have similar applications, each is unique and valuable for different situations.

What’s That Stain? Materials Testing Can Give You Answers

What's That Stain?“What’s that stain?”

This is a question that many quality assurance specialists in the manufacturing industry will need to answer at some point in their careers. Stains on products often signal a quality issue that can compromise the safety or function of the product. Fortunately, materials testing can help QA specialists answer that question.

Materials testing is a broad term that refers to the use of analytical testing techniques to identify the chemical composition or characteristics of a sample. Below are some of the techniques that can be used to not only identify surface stains, but also help manufacturers trace the source of the contamination.

Failure Analysis: A Tool for Prevention and Troubleshooting

Two scientists using a computer to conduct failure analysisEvery product has the potential to fail. This is a simple and accepted truth in the manufacturing industry. However, rather than being paralyzed by this reality, quality engineers can take steps to lessen the impact of a failure—and perhaps prevent it all together.

This is where failure analysis comes in.

What is Failure Analysis?

Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the cause of a failure. Failure analysis can also be conducted to preemptively predict risk factors for failure. The goal of failure analysis is to determine what can be done to correct or prevent failure, and also outline any potential product liabilities. Failure analysis can be used in the development of new and the refinement of existing products as a tool for both prevention and troubleshooting.

How Material Testing Supports Good Manufacturing Practices

A woman on an assembly line conducts material testingIf you are in charge of overseeing manufacturing operations or quality control, you know how much work is involved in making effective changes in the production process and product improvements. In many industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food and drink industries, complying with good manufacturing practices (GMP) to maintain government certification requires diligent material testing.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are a set of mandates set by regulatory bodies, including the FDA hyperlink and similar government organizations around the world, to ensure safety in products that are consumed and used in direct contact with people. A GMP badge on packaging, for example, implies that the regulatory agency has reviewed and approved the product’s manufacturing facility.

What Type of Materials Testing Do You Need?

Materials testing for quality control

As a quality assurance specialist you are trained to spot quality issues and product defects. You know that if the fit isn’t right or the specified color mixture is slightly off, you can find the solution. However, quality control is difficult when there’s an unknown contaminant on your products or a mysterious product failure. In these cases, you might need to send a sample in for materials testing.

What is Chemical Analysis?

A woman in a lab uses chemical analysis to solve manufacturing issuesChemical analysis can be used to determine a chemical’s identity or the identity of its components. To give some context to how chemical analyses can be used in manufacturing and production, here are some examples of chemical analysis methods and applications for them:

Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry – GC/MS Analysis

Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry is used to qualitatively identify unknown materials by comparing a sample’s mass spectrum to a large reference library of spectra. GC/MS analysis is also used quantitatively to determine the concentration of the components within a sample. Materials can be analyzed with GC/MS if they are liquid, gas, or are a compound off gassed by a solid.

Guess the Materials Characterization Technique Part II

materials characterizationWhen unknown contaminants appear on your products due to failures in manufacturing processes, there are techniques that can help you identify the cause of the issue. Materials analysis laboratories use materials characterization to analyze and reverse engineer unknown materials to discover their composition.

In our last post, we brought up four issues and asked you to name the materials analysis technique required to troubleshoot the problem. If you have your answers, let’s go over them together.

  1. Plastic parts supplied by a new vendor have a strong odor that parts from a previous supplier did not have. How can you determine if the off gassing material is hazardous to workers health or detrimental to your product?

7 Signs that it’s Time for Materials Testing

materials testing for clean production processesAs an engineering or manufacturing lead for your business, you have enough to do without trying to troubleshoot a mysterious product failure. From staffing issues to inventory and manufacturing to fulfillment, a product failure due to contamination or unexpected out gassing in transit is the last thing you want to hear about.

Luckily there materials testing techniques that can mitigate these risks ahead of time or quickly in the face of crisis so you can keep production moving.

Below are 7 issues that can be solved with the help of materials testing, and the specific testing methods to help you find the solution.

Prevention and Cure: How Failure Analysis Can Identify Manufacturing Issues Before They Start

Scientist Performing Failure AnalysisIt’s happened to you: you go to your favorite restaurant for your favorite meal. The food comes and something is just not right. The fries are not as crispy, or your burger is not as juicy.

We’re often unaware of how much of a difference chemistry makes in the food we eat, the clothes we wear and even the electronics that are ubiquitous in our lives. A small tweak in the chemical makeup of a product can have big consequences: your customers may become dissatisfied with your products, even if the change is due to a microscopic flaw.

Detecting the Source of Computer Head Crashes

Auger Electron Spectroscopy Determines Disc Defects

Auger maps of hard disc defects

Imagine preparing for a critical presentation tomorrow, only to discover that all of your research is gone! You just experienced a head crash. If you can’t recover the information, it may help you to know that you can use Auger electron spectroscopy to examine the aftermath of a head crash and determine what went wrong.

Determine Surface Layer Composition