Client Login

forgot password

Category “Quality Assurance”

Vartest Laboratories supported the Drexel effort to bring the National Network for Advanced Functional Fabrics Manufacturing to Philadelphia

“The U.S. Department of Defense has tapped Drexel University as a key leader in the creation of a $75 million national research institute that will support American textile manufacturers in bringing sophisticated new materials and textiles to the marketplace. [1]”

Vartest looks forward to being a technical resource for AFFOA projects, as part of the Fabric Innovation Initiative (FIN). This resurgence of cutting-edge textile technology in the North East harkens back to the birth of the US textile industry in the North East and the development of a significant textile technology department at MIT, but with a pleasant and welcome, modern high-tech twist.

[1] http://www.rle.mit.edu/fabric/

AFFOA

TB 117-2013: The New Flammability Standard For Upholstered Furniture

Attending the CPSC’s Upholstered Furniture Fire Safety Technology Meeting on April 25th, 2013, where Californian flammability standard TB 117 was a major topic of discussion, provided Vartest with an opportunity to interact in person with stakeholders in the area of upholstered furniture safety, where an important new method, TB 117-2013, is about to come into effect. Video links to details of the meeting are below:

7VEa5vJ

Part 1
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64490

Part 2
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64506

Part 3
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64503

Part 4
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64502

This new standard will be effective on January 1, 2014 and will become mandatory on January 1, 2015. TB 117-2013 is published by the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation November 22, 2013.

Current strong interest in reducing levels of flame retardants used in home furnishings have resulted in the adoption of a new standard focusing on cigarette smoldering rather than open flame as the challenge. To pass the new test, both smolder-resistant cover fabrics and barrier fabrics placed under the upholstery fabric are commonly used technologies. This new test method, TB117-2013, is the first activity in this particular area of flammability testing in forty years. It is another example of a consensus-based furniture flammability test that helps keep consumers safe.

Vartest conducts a variety of flammability testing on fabrics, garments, furniture, rigid materials, and more. We anticipate serving the needs of our clients as consensus standard test methods and product performance specifications continue to evolve.

Vartest Attends 2012 Eurosatory Exhibition:

Vartest is proud to have attended the 11th Bi-Annual Eurosatory International Defense & Security trade exhibition from June 11 to June 15. As specialists in third-party accredited testing of military products, Vartest’s attendance provided additional input to keep us abreast of new technological and market developments in the worldwide defense industry.

 

Vartest Technical Director Adam R. Varley at Eurosatory

 

Held in the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center in Paris, France since 2002, Eurosatory is considered “the world’s largest land warfare trade show”; this year’s conference, according to Eurosatory’s official website, boasted 1,433 exhibitions from 53 countries, 155 delegations, 684 journalists, and over 53,000 other visitors.

 

Military Uniform & Backpack Display

 

So named because it was originally held by the French Army Experimental Unit in the Satory Military Camp near Versailles, the exhibition steadily grew from its inception. In 1991, its organization was transferred to the newly-formed French Land Defense Manufacturer’s Association, or GICAT (Groupement des Industries Françaises de Defense Terrestre). The first formal Eurosatory exhibition was held the following year, in 1992.

 

Tactical vest display. Vartest tests similar materials for qualities such as coverage, durability, and thermal protective performance.

 

As defense budgets continue to shrink worldwide, it becomes ever more vital to ensure that current equipment is tested and functional. Vartest provides fabric and textile testing services for a wide variety of defense and security providers, using its ISO17025 quality system to provide trusted, independent third-party test reports which support bids, solicitations, and ongoing programs. Our presence at Eurosatory demonstrates that, regardless of economic climate, we will continue to offer prompt, accurate testing to ensure that all defense products meet or exceed standards of excellence.

Vartest Accredited to Test For Phthalates Under CPSIA:

Vartest has obtained A2LA accreditation to test for phthalates under the Consumer Product and Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). This test (designation CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3) provides an excellent complement to Vartest’s lead and heavy metal detection testing services, allowing our laboratory to ensure full safety compliance for a range of materials and products.

Three-dimensional model of a Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, one of the most common phthalates in use.

 

Phthalates are compounds of phthalic acid widely used as plasticizers, chemical compounds which increase the strength and malleability of plastics. Found in or on the majority of plastic or polymeric products worldwide, including toys, textiles, garments, and upholstery, phthalates and plasticizers in general are produced and used by the millions of tons per annum. However, phthalates’ weak chemical bond to the plastics in which they are used (specifically, the lack of a covalent bond) allows them to be relatively easily released into the environment when the plastics age. This process has been associated with certain detrimental effects to the environment, resulting in phthalates’ regulation under CPSIA as of February 10, 2009.

Structural Diagram of DEHP Phthalate

 

Vartest tests for phthalates using the Standard Operating Procedure supplementary to CPSC-CH-1001-09.3, dissolving the sample in a solution of HPLC-grade tetrahydrofuran (THF), precipitating sample polymers with HPLC-grade hexanes, and filtering the solution through a .45μm polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter. The filtered solution is then subjected to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GCMS) to isolate and identify the resultant phthalates. Samples are monitored using both full scan mode and selected ion monitoring (SIM), and our machinery runs a quality control sample each day. Products tested include fabric adhesives, coatings, print applications, children’s products, plastic components of various garments, and other end use items.

Vartest GCMS Equipment

 

Vartest provides testing for the following phthalates:

  • Di-n-butylphthalate(DnBP) (CAS No. 84-74-2)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate(BBP) (CAS No. 85-68-7)
  • Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate(DEHP) (CAS No. 117-81-7)
  • Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP) (CAS No. 117-84-0)
  • Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) (CAS Nos. 28553-12-0, 68515-48-0)
  • Diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) (CAS Nos. 26761-40-0, 68515-49-1)
  • Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) (CAS No. 84-75-3)

Vartest offers services under CPSIA testing standards for a diverse clientele, and will continue to expand its testing capabilities.

Announcing service expansions & equipment updates

Vartest Laboratories continues to expand services for flammability, textile insulation and vapor resistance to facilitate performance assessment of safety and protective products and garments.

Vartest Laboratories demonstrates excellence in services provided to high technology and compliance markets, while maintaining unsurpassed breadth of methods and capabilities to the textile, apparel, home textile, and industrial markets, and military sectors. We are continually improving our offerings through investment in the latest technology and ISO-17025 accredited operations.

Recent additions and updates to the laboratories included:

  • Installation of new instruments for Thermal and Radiant Protective Performance (TPP & RPP) to meet ISO, EN, NFPA, ANSI and military requirements.
  • Updating of basic instruments for ASTM 6413 and NFPA 701 flammability testing.
  • Isothermal Sweating Hot Plate instrumentation along with a broad scope environmental chamber and remote access technology.
  • Our GCMS section is also supported by high performance microwave digestion and rotary evaporation instruments.
  • Near Infra Red Spectrophotometry for measurement of spectral reflectance.
  • Updated hydrostatic penetration capability.
  • Running all methods all methods including ASTM D751.
  • IL options ISO 811, AATCC 127 and others up to 200,000 millimeters of water pressure.

With this expanded capability, Vartest provides highly specialized protective performance assessment of products and applications related to development and production of fabrications dedicated to military, active sportswear and other specialized markets, which require elevated performance in unique environments.

Vartest sets itself apart with in-house testing using a fully automated large scale goniometric range for evaluation of high visibility trims, including all treatments required by ANSI 107, 207, EN 471 and CSA 96 protocols. It is this dedication and continued investment that positions Vartest as the undisputed leader in color measurement and spectral data in .qtx format, high visibility assessment and third party certification and compliance verification of high visibility safety and protective products and garments.

We invite your enquires and look forward to meeting all of your company’s testing requirements and greatly appreciate the opportunity to do so.