Client Login

forgot password

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:

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 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.

Polyester Fiber And Triexta Fiber Generic Subclass Testing Capability Enhanced

Using a combination of analytical techniques as well as experience with weft knit, warp knit, woven and non woven textile structures, Vartest provides a unique capability for analyzing polyester fiber and the polymers which make them up including FTC designated polyester fiber subclasses and related fibers.

 

Micro FTIR Analysis Allows Molecular Structure Analysis Of Single Fibers And Filaments

Preparing Vartest's FTIR Microscope For Textile Fiber Work With Liquid Nitrogen

 

The Federal Trade Commission covers but is not limited to three related polyester polymers used to produce textile fibers: Polyethylene terephthalate (often abbreviated as PET and the polymer which makes up the world’s most commonly used textile fiber), polytrimethylene terephthalate (FTC generic sub class triexta and also commonly known as PTT and with the current IUPAC name poly(propyleneterephthalate) and polybutylene terephthalate (often abreviated as PBT). The structures of PET, PTT and PBT are shown in the following ball and stick models:
Polyester Polymer Chains Modeled With Chem Bio 3D Ultra

Three Repeat Unit Chains Of Polyethyleneterephthalate, Polytrimethyleneterephthalate and Polybutyleneterephthalate

 

Fibers made of PTT may be labelled “Triexta” however fibers composed of PBT do not have an FTC designated subclass and so can be labeled “Polyester” and be more fully characterized as PBT Polyester. Fibers made of PET are usually simply labeled as “Polyester”.
The chief difference in chemical structure between these three polymer groups is the addition of a single methyl group to the polymer repeat with each of PTT and PBT. PET has two methyl groups in the hydrocarbon chain connecting phthalate esters, PTT three and PBT four. The addition of methyl groups leads to significant changes in fiber performance in end use, making PTT for example, particularly suited to end uses such as carpeting. The addition of methyl groups to the hydrocarbon chain also leads to decreasing melt point as seen in the following differential scanning calorimetry curves:

 

PET, PTT and PBT compared

Differential Scanning Calorimetry Comparison Of PET, PTT and PBT

Micro Fourier transform infrared analysis helps to differentiate these polymer groups with clear separation of PBT, PTT and PET capable with even a single fiber and enabeling dissected filament yarns from a complicated structure such as a multi bar tricot warp knit to be positively identified both qualitatively and quantitatively as seen in the following light micrograph:
Triexta (PBT) and conventional textile polyester (PET) dissected from a two bar tricot warp knit fabric.
Once dissected micro FTIR spectra of the yarns above are obtained and run against a search library for identification. The image above shows the dissected PET top bar yarn of a 1-0/2-3 fully threaded tricot structure as well as the PBT 1-2/1-0 back bar. A micro Fourier transform infra red analysis of SmartStrand carpet fiber is shown below with a 95% Euclidean hit to a control sample of known triexta fiber:
Eulidean Library Search For Triexta

Micro Fourier Transform Infra Red Analysis Of SmartStrand Triexta Fiber

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) testing complements this work differentiating between PET, PTT and PBT as seen in the following Hydrogen-1 NMR and Carbon-13 NMR comparison done at 300 megahertz with deuterated trifluoroacetic acid as the solvent:
Comparison Of PET, PTT and PBT

300 Megahertz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra

Polyester Comparison Via FTIR

300 Megahertz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra

Vartest provides in depth analysis of all characteristics of fiber make up, morphology and performance assisted by a proprietary search library of thousands of fibers from all markets and end uses.