Our Cleanliness Testing Experience
Innovatech Labs, an independent contract materials testing laboratory, has been actively involved in addressing microcontamination issues for decades. We have been an approved testing laboratory for Seagate and other hard drive manufacturers since the early 1990s. Our lab not only performs microcontamination testing per IDEMA industry standards, we participated in the creation of many of those standards.
Through our ongoing involvement in industry groups and professional contacts made through years of cleanliness testing, we often have advanced knowledge of anticipated or planned changes concerning test methods or acceptance criteria. This knowledge has helped our customers remain more competitive and compliant, as well as saved our customers both money and aggravation.
What Cleanliness Testing Is
Cleanliness testing incorporates a variety of tests to identify contaminants present on the surface of a product, within components, or produced during use. Microcontamination testing pinpoints defects in materials or processes that contribute to device failure, the presence of harmful impurities, and more. Cleanliness testing can be performed on your completed products, elements of your manufacturing activities, or incoming shipments of components.
Innovatech Labs uses a range of techniques, including:
- Solvent extraction and analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
- Ionic contamination testing for extractable anions and cations using ion chromatography (IC)
- Outgassing studies using dynamic headspace and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (DHS-GC/MS)
- Silicone in Adhesives by ESCA (Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis)
Why You May Need Cleanliness Testing
Any company that needs to ensure the cleanliness of their outgoing product or incoming shipments may need cleanliness testing to ensure microcontamination is not present. Microcontamination can occur from a variety of sources, including water, residual solvents, bad ingredients, and human error. From verifying a product is free of silicone or plasticizers to determining the level of particulates present on material, our wide range of cleanliness testing techniques and expertise are available to assist you.
How Our Cleanliness Testing Services Get You Results
Innovatech Labs uses up-to-date techniques to test for microcontamination. With fast turnaround of test results and customized reporting of results, our lab’s services help manufacturers from an array of industries diagnose causes of contamination and develop solutions for addressing those issues. Our analysts will help you understand what testing is necessary for your product, and if your product does not pass the acceptance criteria we will work directly with you to find the cause and a solution of the contamination challenge.
Cleanliness Testing Applications & Industries
- Hard Drives: Hard drive microcontamination testing services ensure components are contaminant-free and protected against microcontamination. Routine cleanliness testing for electronic and disk drive companies ensures the product meets required cleanliness levels to ensure that no gas or chemicals are present or could be generated during typical operating conditions. These gases or chemicals could interfere with the electronic charge transfers, writing processes, or other components, accelerate corrosion, or otherwise create defects that lead to deterioration or failure.
- Medical Device Manufacturing: Ensuring the cleanliness of manufacturing, packaging, and testing processes for medical devices is essential. Residues on surfaces of medical devices can cause implant failure, poor device performance, and complications. Particulates in medical devices can endanger patient safety.
- Adhesives: Adhesives are an element present in the products of many industries, including automotive, industrial, appliance, graphics, healthcare, and electronics. It is critical that adhesives used are clean of microcontamination that could produce vapors or other byproducts that interfere with quality and operation of the end product.
- General Manufacturing: Manufacturers in other industries benefit from cleanliness testing as well. Testing for microcontamination helps to identify potential product failures, ensure warranties hold up, and confirm reliability of cleaning processes.
Non-Volatile Residues (NVR) testing: This test is important in quality assurance for products in which product quality or performance may be affected by the presence of any residue. This testing is critical in water quality testing and the medical device and electronic industries. For example, NVR testing helps companies:
● Minimize microcontamination on computer hard disk drive components
● Ensure cleanliness of implantable medical devices
Other testing services: Depending on the materials to be tested, your company’s specifications, and industry standards, a variety of materials testing techniques are available for cleanliness testing. These applications include:
● Extractable Organics (silicones, phthalates, amides, and hydrocarbons)
● Extractable Ionic Contamination
● Outgassing Test (Static and Dynamic Headspace)
Example 1: Hard drive production processes offer many opportunities for microcontamination. Cleanliness testing can provide assurance that no microcontamination is present on the components, or if the product fails, then cleanliness testing can help pinpoint the problem. Cleanliness testing for microcontamination of hard drives and hard drive components must follow IDEMA or individual company specifications.
Example 2: Pressure-sensitive adhesives are used in many applications for many industries, including automotive, industrial, healthcare, and electronics. Routine cleanliness testing, especially for the hard disk drive industry, helps companies deliver clean, quality products. Providing ultra clean products, as well as supplying proof of that cleanliness through cleanliness testing procedures, gives a competitive advantage.
Contact Innovatech Labs for More Information on Cleanliness Testing for Microcontamination Services
Do you have products that require cleanliness testing to identify possible microcontamination? Contact us today to request a quote or to discuss your testing needs with one of our experienced analysts. Reach us by email or calling 888-740-5227.