ESCA Blog Posts & Resources

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.

ESCA Analysis Deconstructed

ESCA Analysis DeconstructedESCA analysis is an incredibly useful materials testing technique that has quality control applications for many industries including medical device and electronics manufacturing. In this post, we’ll deconstruct and explore this material testing technique.

What is ESCA Analysis?

ESCA analysis, also known as Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis or X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), is a surface analysis technique that provides elemental and binding energy information about a sample material’s surfaces and interfaces.

How Does ESCA Analysis Work?

What To Do if You Have Product Contamination

product contaminationProduct contamination is a challenge that may occur at any stage in the production process. For instance, if mold release or cleaning agents are not properly removed from a component, it may contaminate the finished product. Contaminated products may be discarded, or more serious consequences may occur if the contaminant isn’t found before the product’s distribution.

There are many ways for product contamination to occur. However, finding the cause of contamination can be difficult. The first step is often to determine what the contaminant is. Determining the composition of a contaminant requires material testing to identify the foreign material, and then find out how it appeared on your product.

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.

Solving Label Delamination with FTIR analysis

Bottle of oil with label that has not experienced delaminationWhen developing label adhesives, there is one prevailing goal: the adhesive must stick to its subject.

Adhesive labels that lose their adhesion over time, or delaminate, are failed products. Extensive product testing ensures that most of these failed label materials never make it to market. However, those that do can cause serious problems for the producer and their customer.

There are innumerable environmental conditions that a package may encounter during storage, transportation, and retail display. Additional factors such as package surface composition or integrity also need to be considered in adhesive choice. The quality and application of adhesives must be impeccable to avoid delamination and any delays or additional costs due to product failure.

Ensure Medical Device Durability with ESCA Analysis

X-ray of patient with a pacemakerTasked with helping human bodies fight off disease and illness, the medical device market is booming.

Research and development (R&D) teams in the medical device industry have been developing groundbreaking products to help people fight off disease and illness and live longer lives. Able to mimic and support organs and other bodily systems, medical implants are revolutionizing the future of health care.

The human body is programmed to defend itself against all foreign materials, including medical implants made of metal. Medical devices, therefore, must be made out of biocompatible alloys that are designed to withstand the harsh environment of the body. Part of the manufacturing processes in these cases must include the passivation of the biocompatible material to ensure the device’s surface is inert or non-reactive when implanted in the body.

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.