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Peel Adhesion Methods

Vartest upgraded our Instron with a 90-degree peel fixture earlier this year.  It allows us to now perform the following methods:

  • ASTM B571: Standard Practice for Qualitative Adhesion Testing of Metallic Coatings
  • ASTM D429 Method B: Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Adhesion to Rigid Substrates
  • ASTM D3330 Method F: Standard Test Method for Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tape
  • ASTM D6252: Standard Test Method for Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Label Stocks at a 90° Angle
  • ASTM D6862: Standard Test Method for 90 Degree Peel Resistance of Adhesives

Bed Sheet Thread Count Testing

Thread counts are an important characteristic of top of the bed fabrics, both for consumers and technologists.

As commonly used in the United States the thread count, or “T number,” of a top of the bed (bed sheet) fabric is the sum of the ends (lengthwise yarns) per inch plus the picks (widthwise yarns) per inch contained in the fabric.

The most common woven fabric construction for top of the bed fabrics is the plain weave.  Light and scanning electron images of a lightweight 100% plain weave cotton sheeting fabric are shown below:

 

Light Microscopy of 100% Cotton Sheeting Fabric

 

Scanning Electron Microscopy of 100% Cotton Sheeting Fabric

 

Graphically, this is represented as:

 

Plain Weave

 

Another common woven structure for top of the bed products is the satin weave:

 

Satin Weave

 

Fabrics made of 100% cotton can always have their thread counts determined unambiguously using current definitions, as can intimate blends of cotton and polyester staple (polyester fibers cut up to a length similar to cotton). Top of the bed fabrics containing continuous filament yarns can be trickier to deal with, partially due to unclear definitions of how to count continuous filament yarns in top of the bed products, and partially because of the nature of continuous filament yarns.

The following shows the back of a top of the bed woven satin made with 100% cotton yarns. This fabric uses “10 pick insertion.”  10 individual picks are inserted into the shed (the temporary separation between the upper and lower warp yarns through which the filling is woven) of the loom before the harnesses of the loom alternate and a new shed is formed.

Several years ago ASTM updated the standard terminology for how plied yarns used in bed sheets are counted:

“ASTM D7023 06 (Reapproved 2012) Standard Terminology Relating to Home Furnishings:

thread count, n—in woven textiles as used in sheets and bedding, the sum of the number of warp yarns (ends) and filling yarns (picks) per unit distance as counted while the fabric is held under zero tension and is free of folds and wrinkles, individual warp and filling yarns are counted as single units regardless of whether comprised of single or plied components.

DISCUSSION—The thread count of sheets and bedding articles is frequently displayed on the outside packaging of such items, or utilized in advertising literature. The specific construction of the warp and filling yarns used to construct the fabric in such items may also be displayed. Examples:

“300 Thread count, 2 ply yarn.” A representation of “600 thread count” for this same product would be likely to mislead consumers about the quality of the product purchased.

“Finely woven 380 2 ply fabric.” The representation of “finely woven 760 threads per square inch” is considered to be misleading to the consumer.

The following shows the back of a top of the bed satin fabric made with a 100% polyester filament filling and 100% cotton warp.”

With filament filling yarns the presence of distinct separable yarns comprising a multiple pick insertion fabric can be hard to determine.

To find out more about bed sheets, Take A Video Tour Of An Indian Top Of The Bed Factory or contact us directly.

Vartest is an ISO 17025 Accredited Laboratory in Manhattan providing fast turnaround and technical drill down testing for all aspects of fiber, yarn, fabric and end product testing.

Vartest Approved Under Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Data Acceptance Program

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Vartest Laboratories conducts testing of high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA), including garments, retroreflective tapes, and background materials for a range of global standards.  This includes ANSI/ISEA 107, CSA Z96, ISO 20471, ASNZS 1906.4, and NFPA 1971.

As of August 2016, Vartest is certified to participate in Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) Third Party Test Data Program (TPTDP). Under this program, test data from Vartest will be accepted by UL in support of UL Mark certification.  Vartest’s scope of testing under this program applies to UL’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard, Including ISEA 107, CSA-Z96, and NFPA 1971. These standards cover compliance of high-visibility garments, background materials, and retroreflective tapes.

UL’s typical certification process requires samples to be tested and approved through one of their own laboratories. This means that manufacturers and vendors seeking a UL Mark for one of their products must test and approve samples for compliance, and then have them tested a second time by UL themselves. When working with a TPTDP participant, however, only one round of testing is necessary, as the participant’s data is accepted by UL. Per UL’s website, this alternative process provides “increased control over the timing and schedule for their product testing and certification program,” because testing, and approval can all be performed at one location. This can significantly reduce the time and expenses incurred during testing.

Vartest prides itself on being an independent third party lab focused on quick and accurate test results. Our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation through A2LA makes us fully qualified to test under ANSI/ISEA 107-2015.

 

Puncture Propagation Tear Testing via ASTM D2582 at Vartest

Vartest tests coated and uncoated fabrics used primarily in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) using ASTM D2582. This test is often used in the medical and military markets and Vartest also has the capacity to provide anti-bacterial, moisture management, physical, flammability, washing and dry-cleaning tests that performance specifications calling for ASTM D2582 often include.

 

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Bisphenol A Added to Prop 65 List

Update: Be aware that BPA was added back to the California Prop 65 chemical list. BPA can be frequently found in hard plastics and polycarbonate. Effective May 11, 2016, a warning label is required in California for exposure to BPA. There is no published safe harbor level from OEHHA for BPA.

Source: OEHHA

 

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

Adam Varley Presentation at FIT

Adam Varley is giving a presentation at FIT for “Global Sourcing in the Textile Industries.”

Download the Slideshow from his presentation here: Working with Labs

Visit the Fashion Institute of Technology website.

FIBER CROSS SECTIONS AT VARTEST

Vartest is equipped with state of the art fiber cross sectioning equipment not normally found in labs without significant seasoned experience in working with the fiber, yarn, fabric, apparel and allied trades.

Vartest Microtome

Vartest’s Sledge Microtome And Resin Embedded Sections

This system provides outstanding cross-sections as seen in the following slide show:

Vartest-Fiber-Cross Sections POWERPOINT

 

Both natural and synthetic fibers, yarns and fabrics can be sectioned with this system.  For further information contact either Esmeralda Castillo or Trevor Trapp.”

AATCC Press Release

News Release
For Immediate Release

AATCC Recognizes Varley, Greeson With TCR Service Award

     RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, April 10, 2014— H. Kenneth Greeson of Cotton Incorporated and Adam R. Varley of Vartest Laboratories Inc. were honored by the AATCC Technical Committee on Research (TCR) with the TCR Service Award in recognition of their achievements and service to AATCC. The award was presented at the 2014 AATCC International Conference in Asheville, NC, on April 3, 2014. Varley was recognized for his contribution toward the development of the Fiber ID Technical Supplement and for almost yearly additions or revisions to Test Methods TM 20 and TM 20A in an effort to make those the most complete test methods in the world. Greeson was recognized for his contribution toward the major revision of AATCC Test Method 97 (Extractable Content of Textiles) for the 2014 AATCC Technical Manual. Greeson attended North Carolina State University (NCSU) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in textile chemistry. His current position at Cotton Incorporated is Manager, Textile Chemistry Research, in the Textile Chemistry Research department. His primary responsibilities include research and development in the field of fabric finishing, including areas such as wrinkle resistance, moisture management, repellency, flame retardancy, and abrasion resistance. His responsibilities also include management of the Finishing Research Laboratory.

     Varley is Technical Director and Co-Founder of Vartest Laboratories Inc. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology from 1978 to 1980, working toward an Associate Degree in Textile Technology. In 1987 he graduated with a BA in Computer Science and Business Management from New York University and in 2001 he received a Master of Textiles, Textile Chemistry and Apparel Management, from North Carolina State University. He has been a member of AATCC since 1978 and has been active in several research committees, especially in RA24, Fiber Analysis Test Methods, where he has served as chair or acting chair and is currently chair. Outside of AATCC, Varley has served on ASTM Committee D13 for textiles, two subcommittees responsible for test method and specification development, and on the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO/TC38-Textiles for Working Group 22, Chemical Test Methods.

     The Award: The Technical Committee on Research Service (TCR) Award was established in 2008 to recognize those members who have contributed greatly to the AATCC organization in a technical capacity. Senior members of the Association with at least five years of continuous membership in AATCC, who have contributed outstanding technical service to the Association through activity in a research committee, are eligible. Selection is by unanimous choice of the TCR Service Award Committee, composed of the current Chair of Technical Committee on Research, Vice Chair of TCR, Chair of the Executive Committee on Research (ECR) and the Secretary of TCR. The Award consists of a plaque and an honorarium, presented at the International Conference.

     About AATCC: AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals, is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members in about 60 countries throughout the world.

For a photo of our TCR Service Award winners, please visit the following links:
– Adam Varley: http://www.aatcc.org/media/pr/2014/AdamVarley.jpg
– Ken Greeson: http://www.aatcc.org/media/pr/2014/KenGreeson.jpg

Vartest’s Outstanding Achievements and Service Recognized by AATCC

Adam Varley, Vartest’s Technical Director & COO was honored to be the recipient of the TCR Service Reward “In Recognition for His Service to AATCC Research Committees”. On Thursday, April 3rd 2014, Adam attended a luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, North Carolina, and was presented with this award for “his contribution toward the development of the AATCC Fiber ID Technical Supplement and the continuous updating of AATCC Test Methods 20 and 20A.”

AdamsAward

Vartest In The News

Vartest Laboratories, Inc. recently appeared on ABC’s 20/20 in a special titled “20/20 True Confessions: Dirty Little Secrets from the Dry Cleaners”. In the segment, 20/20 sampled 10 drycleaners in Manhattan with identical garments containing mustard, wine, and nail polish stains. Vartest Laboratories was chosen to perform a Spectrophotometric Analysis of the stains on the returned garments to discover just how many of the selected drycleaners were able to remove the stains the best.

The ABC special as well as the results of the investigation can be found here: 20/20 True Confessions

Learn more about Spectrophotometric Analysis
, AATCC 130, AATCC 135, AATCC 158, and many of the other tests offered by Vartest on the Vartest Laboratory website here: www.vartest.com

Vartest Offers Same Day Testing!

Vartest Laboratories now offers Same Day Service for select testing where it is feasible to do so. Such testing is subject to a 100% Premium Charge.

Check out the rest of the conditions as well as the tests we offer for Same Day Service on our Feasibility List.

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:

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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 Makes It Easier To Submit Samples For Antimicrobial Testing:

Vartest has developed an updated Test Request form specifically devoted to Anti Microbial finish testing.  The form makes it easier and less confusing to submit samples for anti-microbial testing.  It serves to confirm which options of the test methods are being requested by the client and also lets the client know in advance of the detail that will appear on their report when Vartest completes it.  The Biological Test Request Submit Form can be downloaded at: http://vartest.com/resources/test-request-forms/. The form currently includes submit information for AATCC 30,  AATCC 100, AATCC 147, ASTM G21, ASTM E1428, but Vartest also performs many other antimicrobial tests, including ASTM E2149 and MIL STD 810F Method 508.5 Fungus. All of these tests are run with one or more of:

  • Aspergillus Niger (ATCC 6275)
  • Penicillium Varians (ATCC 10509)
  • Trichodema Viride (ATCC 28020)
  • Staphylococcus Aureus (ATCC 6538)
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae (ATCC 4352)
  • Streptoverticillium Reticulum (ATCC 25607)
  • Penicillium Pinophilum – Funiculosum (ATCC 11797)
  • Chaetomium Globosum (ATCC 6205)
  • Gliocladium Virens (ATCC 9645)
  • Aureobasidium Pullulans (ATCC 15233)

For additional detail on submitting samples, price and turn time please contact Sharon Lafaurie (cltserv@vartest.com), Esmeralda Castillo (ecastillo@vartest.com) or Trevor Trapp.(ttrapp@vartest.com).

Antimicrobial

Vartest Receives a Visit From FIT

Vartest Laboratories was pleased to welcome students from the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology on May 2nd, 2013. The students are members of FIT’s AATCC Club, and are currently involved in programs such as Quality Assurance, Textile Development, and Marketing. Adam Varley started their tour off with a Powerpoint Presentation on high visibility safety apparel testing and explained to the students how such tests help to evaluate the quality of the products that find their way into our laboratory. The students and their Vice President, Duygu Dizerkonca, then accompanied Stacy Sadowy, Vartest’s Head of Quality Control on a guided tour of all of the departments within the lab, showing them testing and testing equipment and introducing them to department heads and laboratory technicians along the way. A great time was had by all and Vartest looks forward to another visit soon.

Vartest Reaccredited By A2LA

Vartest is proud to announce our reaccreditation under the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). This marks our laboratory’s eighth year of accreditation.

According to A2LA’s own documentation, “A2LA is the leading US laboratory accreditation body with almost 2,000 laboratories accredited in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005, about 50% of the total number of 17025 accreditations granted by all other US laboratory accreditation bodies.” Organizations eligible for A2LA recognition (defined by A2LA as “CAB”s, or “Conformity Assessment Bodies”) must pass a thorough evaluation process to determine the quality of their equipment, staff, and performance.

By passing this evaluation, Vartest has demonstrated excellence in the following qualities as defined by A2LA:

• Capability
• Responsibility
• Scientific approach
• Objectivity
• Impartiality
• Measurement traceability
• Reproducibility
• Transparency

Additionally, Vartest’s scope for fabric and textile testing now includes the following test methods:

• ISO 811
• ISO 14184-1,2
• JIS L 1041

We at Vartest extend our sincere thanks to A2LA for their recognition, and will continue to serve our clients with our diverse and ever-growing range of test procedures.

Vartest Featured in AATCC Newsletter

Vartest Laboratories is honored to appear in the August 21 edition of the American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists’ official newsletter. As their website states, the AATCC is “the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals,” and “provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for thousands of members in 60 countries throughout the world.”

The article discusses the qualities and standards associated with high-visibility garments; in it, Vartest outlines the necessary laboratory qualifications and material parameters needed to ensure that high-visibility materials meet official standards.

High-Conspicuity Garment In Daylight Conditions

 

High-Conspicuity Garment In Nighttime Conditions

 

Vartest supplies in-house, comprehensive, competitive testing of fluorescent background material, retroreflective tapes, and high-conspicuity garments, providing third-party certificates demonstrating compliance with ANSI ISEA 107/207, EN471, CSA Z96, and AS/NZS 1096.4 specifications.

Those who wish to subscribe to AATCC’s newsletter, or to other AATCC-sponsored publications on textile news and developments, may visit this link.

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.

FAST TURN COLOR ANALYSIS TESTING OF FIBER, YARN, FABRIC, APPAREL AND OTHER END USE ITEMS:

Vartest offers fast turnaround time color analysis testing of fiber, yarn, fabric and end use items from its ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory located in Midtown Manhattan. Spectrophotometers available include Dual Beam Sphere for use in retailer color management programs, 45° Illumination and 0° Viewing for fluorescent samples and Dual Beam Sphere with Near Infra Red capability for military programs. All of them are interfaced with state of the art color management and communication software.

These instruments provide objective, quantitative visual color measurement and assessment as well as shade sorting, shade grouping and banding, tapering, lab dip approval as well as objective rating of colorfastness test results such as crocking, laundering, light, storage and perspiration.

Vartest’s color quality control capability provides an Accredited Third Party backup to retailer, manufacturer and importer color management systems. QTX files can be generated and emailed by Vartest containing digital color information on standards, lab dips, production samples and fabric rolls destined for the cutting table.

 

Color Measurement Proficiency Interlab Results Displayed Electronically

Color Measurement Proficiency Interlab Results Displayed Electronically

 

 

Instrumental color measurement systems are operated by experienced technologists with specialized training in color measurement. The visual acuity of operators is checked using the Farnsworth Munsell color vision test in conjunction with Vartest’s calibrated Macbeth light boxes which are used for visual assessments when needed.