LANXESS Testing Center in China receives German test certification
The LANXESS material testing laboratory for plastics at the Wuxi site in China has been accredited to ISO 17025 for the next five years by the DAP (Deutsches Akkreditierungssystem Pruefwesen GmbH – German Accreditation System for Testing). As a result, the Semi-Crystalline Products (SCP) business unit of the specialty chemicals group LANXESS AG can now offer its customers accredited results for a total of 15 mechanical, physical and rheological tests.
The company's own product development also benefits from the high quality of these results, allowing both new and ongoing development of plastics in the short and longer terms. The Research and Development Testing Center (RDTC) in Wuxi works closely with the product development department at the Dormagen site in Germany. They are connected online via a laboratory information management system. This enables the direct and rapid exchange of test jobs and results.
“As soon as the Testing Center went into operation in May 2007, we organized our quality management with the accreditation in mind. As a result, it has achieved its accreditation within one year. The inspectors also found the quality of the testing to be extraordinarily high, particularly after such a short time,” says Michael Muenker, head of the Testing Center.
The qualification was achieved by implementing a state-of-the-art quality management system. It ensures customers receive test results that meet the very highest standards, and puts the results issued by the RDTC on a comparable basis with those of other accredited laboratories worldwide. The accreditation confirms the high level of training among the employees and the quality of the local management team of the RDTC, led by Waihong Loh.
“This achievement marks an unequivocal success for our team. Through their expertise and personal commitment, every single person has played their part in fulfilling the requirements needed for accreditation,” says Loh, who heads the team of employees in her role as local manager.
Accreditation to ISO 17025 ranks more highly than certification to ISO 9001, for example, as not only must the processes and documentation of the organizational unit be audited, but the workforce must also be assessed on their ability to carry out the test procedures. The entire laboratory and all employees are audited every two years at least.
The RDTC is equipped with an injection molding machine with a clamping force of 200 metric tons and around 20 devices for testing materials. The tests are performed by specially trained personnel according to ISO and ASTM standards. The necessary test pieces – such as rods and sheets – are also manufactured in the RDTC. The extensive program ranges from mechanical tests, such as tensile, flexural, drop and impact tests, through rheological tests – to determine the melt index (MFI) and shear viscosity, for example – to physical tests.
The physical tests include measurements to establish the heat distortion temperature (HDT), Vicat temperature and density, analyses to assess the dynamic-mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties (DMA and TMA), and tests to determine the moisture content and color values. There are also machines for testing the heat, moisture and media storage of test specimens to determine the durability of materials.
The Semi-Crystalline Products business unit belongs to the Performance Polymers segment, which achieved total sales in fiscal 2007 of EUR 2.68 billion.