Plastics Technology Laboratories Inc. recently completed the doubling of its controlled-condition laboratory space and an expansion of its testing abilities for plastics, elastomers, film and composites.
The project enhances the company's testing capability and has helped it shorten turnaround time, according to James Galipeau, laboratory manager. PTLI now has 10,000 square feet of space that is conditioned, such as controlled humidity, and a 2,000-square-foot weathering lab, in the 17,000-square- foot facility.
Galipeau said modern methods and machinery allow most tests to be done in five to seven days, and quick turnaround is important to customers.
The company has added customer service people and technicians to boost employment to 21, he noted.
Galipeau said plant-based plastics are growing because customers are testing the materials for use in different applications. Another growth area is wood composites. Various kinds of companies send testing work to PTLI, he said.
``As major resin suppliers, molders and [original equipment manufacturers] focus on their own niche, they are farming out and outsourcing more work to labs such as ours,'' Galipeau said.
The company has added multiple Xenon-Arc machines to boost its weathering lab for access to industry specifications. It also can do a test called ``highly predictive accelerated weathering.''
Another specific change is to meet the requirements of ISO 17025. PTLI has an advanced wet chemistry lab to further segregate incompatible testing procedures.
The company also formed labs for tribology - the testing of surface technology for friction, lubrication and wear - and for flammability - UL 94 series, ASTM, ISO and automotive standards.