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Posts tagged with “Textile Testing”

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 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 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.

 

 

ANTIBACTERIAL PROFICIENCY TRIAL RESULTS SUPPORT ISO/IEC 17025 CAPABILITY FOR AATCC 147 AND AATCC 100

Vartest has successfully completed participation in AATCC Proficiency Trials in support of ongoing ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation for AATCC Test Methods 147 and 100. Additionally elemental analysis via wet chemistry/spectroscopy and energy dispersive xray are available in order to measure the presence and establish the location of elements such as silver which are associated with a particular anti bacterial finish.

Both leaching and nonleaching finishes can be assessed.

Biosafety Level 2 Testing At Vartest

 

Antibacterial testing is often one component of a battery of tests that Vartest performs to fully characterize a textile product. Both leaching and non leaching finishes can be assessed and Vartest has full capability to analyse the substrate to which an antibacterial finish has been applied.

SERICIN AND FIBROIN SPECIFIC STAIN USED TO CHARACTERIZE SILK FILAMENTS

Filament silk or bombyx mori silk is extruded from two seperate glands in the region of the spinerette on the silkworm’s head as it spins its cocoon. These two filaments are composed of beta pleated sheets of fibroin protein which are joined together by a sericin outer sheath which is simultaneously extruded from two other glands in the region of the silkworm’s spinerette.

The sericin outer sheath and fibroin inner region can be seen in the following low and high magnification scanning electron micrographs:

 

Scanning Electron Micrograph Of Woven Silk Fabric

Scanning Electron Micrograph Of Woven Silk Fabric

 

Highn Magnification Image

Scanning Electron Micrograph of Sericin Coated Bave Containing Two Fibroin Brins

 

 

To further differentiate the sericin/fibroin interface Vartest has developed a stain which colors the sericin outer sheath purple and the fibroin filaments pink as seen in the following light micrograph:

 

Silk warp yarn dissected from woven fabric.

The sericin surrounding the bave has been stained purple, the two fibroin brins pink.

 

The two fibroin filaments in combination with the sericin outer sheath is known as a bave, while the individual fibroin filaments are known as brins.

Vartest combines multiple testing and analytical techniques to fully characterize fibers both as manufatured and in end use.

 

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.