Every delivery of thermoplastic material includes a certificate. The European Norm EN 10204 specifies different types of control documents that can be provided to customers in order to guarantee the compliance of the delivered material with the agreed upon specifications for the delivery.
Figure 1: Control documents according to EN 10204
The certificate of compliance confirms the adherence of the delivery to the specification without declaring any test results. In a test report, results from nonspecific tests are stated meaning that the results do not necessarily originate from the delivered material. They are rather data from several comparable productions. Specific analyses on each individual batch are only performed and registered for the third level document of the European standard, the so-called inspection certificate. Another difference to the first two possible documents is that the inspection certificate is signed by the inspection representative of the supplying organization.
Where is the problem?
First, there is a difference between what the manufacturing industry needs to know about the material and what they know from a no-cost test report. As described above, the results indicated on a material test report originate from nonspecific tests. In other words, the information needs to be understood as estimated values with high tolerances. Furthermore, many of the required properties are not declared on the document.
Second, as it is crucial to know the properties of the processed material, an inspection certificate according to EN 10204 Type 3.1 or 3.2 is required. However, the provision of the certificate that includes specific analyses of the delivered material entails further costs. For instance, information on the glass transition temperature and thermal conductivity is priced at up to 150 euro per batch. Additional administrative costs amount to 50 euro on average for each delivery.
The question is whether to process material with vague properties or pay extra in order to have the full information on the material?
Do It Yourself: Become the owner of your material data!
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) enable you to independently determine material characteristics to avoid the risk of processing material with unspecific properties or to incur additional costs in a highly price-sensitive environment.
Find out if the delivered material is the correct material and adheres to the agreed specifications by evaluating the glass transition and melting temperatures with DSC.
Thermal stability, the amount and type of different filler contents as well as stiffness and strength are important properties of polymers in the automotive industry. TGA can help you determine these characteristics and ensure complete information about the material.
Even better, you can automate your measurement process by setting up your own materials database within the PROTEUS® software and easily compare the material properties with those of previous deliveries.