Identification of products’ materials (and contamination)

Material identification is very important in quality assurance and analysis of faults and their causes. The knowledge and experience of our staff and the wide, continuously expanding analytical facilities allow identification of: plastic, rubber and petroleum products; metals and their alloys.
In the case of metals and their alloys, identification is based on inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and X-ray fluorescence with wavelength dispersion (WD-XRF) methods. Using additional techniques such as Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and chromatography allows identification of substances located on the surface of the tested material, whether its presence is deliberate or is the result of contamination.
In the case of plastics and rubbers, identification is based mainly on the analysis of the Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) method. Spectrograms obtained from the test material are analysed for the presence of characteristic signals; the results of the identification are referenced against an extensive database of various materials’ spectrograms. Additionally, the identification is supported by tests using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric methods (TGA). Analysis of gases emitted at elevated temperatures using chromatographic methods and as a result of thermal decomposition using thermogravimetry coupled with infrared spectrometry with Fourier transformation method (TGA-FTIR) is possible.
In the case of petroleum products, identification is based on Fourier transformation infrared spectrometry (FTIR), chromatographic methods and emission spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence. Those methods facilitate – among other things – the differentiation of engine oils and fuels with and without biocomponents, the determination of elemental content from additive packages and tests of petroleum products for analysis of the causes of failures in systems in which those products are used.


  • Thermo Nicolet 6700 infrared spectrometer with Fourier transformation (FTIR) – spectrometer allowing the analysis of substances using single (ATR) and multi-reflection (HATR) transmission techniques
  • TA Instruments Q500 thermogravimetric analyser (TGA)
  • TA Instruments Q2000 differential scanning calorimeter (DSC)
  • PerkinElmer Optima 8300 optical emission spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-OES)
  • PerkinElmer Optima 4300 DV optical emission spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-OES)
  • Rigaku ZSX Primus II X-ray fluorescent spectrometer with wavelength dispersion (WD-XRF)
  • Agilent 7890A gas chromatograph with flame ionization and mass spectrometer (GC-FID/MS)
  • Agilent 7820A gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector (GC-FID)
  • Agilent 7890B gas chromatograph with nitrogen-phosphorus and mass detector (GC-NPD/MS) and sniffer port
  • Agilent 1260 Infinity High performance liquid chromatograph

Testing norms

Material identification is based on in-house testing instructions, for example: BOSMAL/I-7-41, BOSMAL/I-7-43, BOSMAL/I-7-90 and Polish and international material and product norms.
Document No. Title/Description
BOSMAL/I-7-43 Material analysis via ICP-OES
BOSMAL/I-7-41 FT-IR spectrometric analysis of materials
BOSMAL/I-7-90 Material analysis via WD-XRF
PV 3927 Thermogravimetric Analysis for Plastics and Elastomers. Determination: Plasticizers, Carbon Black