Testing for Quality
A lot of technologies are taken up for laboratory tests to ascertain their success rates. Clean India Journal met Thomas Leucht of Weber & Leucht GmbH, a German based testing laboratory, at the ISSA Interclean, Amsterdam. He shared the various testing processes the lab offers.
An independent testing laboratory Weber & Leucht GmbH was founded in 2002 by Stephanie Weber and Thomas Leucht. It specialises in laboratory tests for washing, cleaning, and care technology using established and novel testing methods for textile and surface technology.
“We plan to set up a laboratory in Asia especially for microfibre textile manufacturers and now we are in evaluating step. We have over 50 clients in Asia for quality testing at the moment,” said Thomas Leucht.
“Our big different for lab work is, that we have a focus at complete cleaning systems and especially testing of performance and environment friendly cleaning. Our lab work helps to provide and develop excellent products and we are able to test the textile functions for Nordic eco-label criteria.
“Initially when we started in 2002, we got the support of the University of Applied Science of Hof, Department Münchberg with which we managed to establish a unique testing laboratory in the Bavarian region of Upper Franconia. About 20 experts and laboratory technicians lend us their expertise in various areas. Moreover, we entertain close relationships with external laboratories and institutes in order to be able to offer our clients complete testing programmes.
“At the moment, our portfolio of clients comprises 16 large concerns and more than 50 small and medium-sized companies. We are currently working on the introduction of laboratory accreditation that is in compliance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025.”
The laboratory is equipped with facilities for testing the following:
- Cleaning Technology
- Hygiene & Microbiology
- Material & Surface-Technology
- Textile Technology
Cleaning Technology: Our main activities in the area of cleaning technology tests include evaluations of novel products, competitive comparisons, and the creation of application and dosage recommendations. Some of these include:
- Linear wiping test and Web Abrasion Scrub tests
- Soiling and Manual testing of cleaning tools
- Test for soil-resistant and self-cleaning effects, evaluation of the cleaning and care behaviour of chemical products and surfaces, abrasion resistance and material durability
Material & Surface Technology: The surface technology tests primarily focus on simulations of material ageing, the influence of cleaning and care products, as well as the soiling behaviour of surfaces.
- Contact angle measuring
- Accelerated weathering test (external) and natural
- weathering stands
- Climate and conditioning levels
- Colour and gloss measuring
- Measurement of coating thicknesses
- Microscopy (incident light, transmitted light, and fluorescence) with digital image processing
- Soiling, soil-resistance and self-cleaning effects
- Evaluation of the cleaning and care behaviour and kinetic friction coefficient
- Abrasion resistance, scratch resistance, and material durability, life-cycle simulation in specific cleaning and care conditions
” Test reports and certificates are often important arguments for sales and marketing campaigns. For these cases, we also offer support options that are tailored to individual needs.”
Textile Technology: The washing laboratory comprises laboratory washing machines for industrial and commercial washing besides associated drying and finishing appliances. The tests include:
- Tensile strength measurement, abrasion measurement, absorption measurement e.g. according to DIN EN ISO 9073-12, Colour and gloss measuring, Measuring of colour fastness (ISO 105)
- Manual testing of cleaning tools
- Laboratory dying – Linitest, Spray test
- Contact angle measuring instrument (static and dynamic)
- Accelerated weathering test (external) and natural weathering test
Specialised chemical analysis of textiles are also conducted (with external support) using the following methods:
- Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
- Thermogravimetry (TGA, DSC)
- Gas, liquid, ion, and gel permeation chromatography (GC/HPLC/IC/GPC)
- Common decomposition and extraction methods
- Infrared, mass, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (IR/MS/NMR)
- X-ray fluorescence (RFA)
- Atomic emission and atomic absorption spectroscopy (OES/AAS)
“These special methods of analysis are used above all for development purposes and for dealing with claims and complaints. All of your test reports are much like small projects in itself.
“More often than not, results have to be interpreted, causes of defects have to be found, and damage may have to be fixed. In those cases, it is not sufficient to simply measure the test values in compliance with the norms. What has to be offered instead is a suitable service package, which helps the company to evolve economically.
“Test reports and certificates are often important arguments for sales and marketing campaigns. For these cases, we also offer support options that are tailored to individual needs. “In the selection and configuration testing processes, we focus on a fitness for use approach while putting ourselves into the client’s perspective. The results of this work are the efficient testing programmes that can break even after a short while.”