Are you ready to start your first weathering or corrosion test program but aren’t sure how the process works? Don't worry – Q-Lab is here to make it simple for you! Here are a few important tips to get things rolling.
The first step is to contact us. The best number to call for new service is our Florida location at +1 (305) 245-5600 – just let the receptionist know you want to discuss a new test. If you prefer email, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a callback. Please make sure to include the answers to these questions (to the best of your knowledge) so we can be ready to help you:
- What is your product, and what material is it made of?
- What is the end use, and where is the expected usage location?
- What is the anticipated product lifetime and what are the expected failure modes?
- What are your objectives from testing?
Our customer service representatives will work with you to determine the best test method for your needs. During this discussion we will review your situation and ask you some additional questions, such as:
- Are you testing to meet a specification, to improve durability, or for another reason?
- What is your budget for testing?
- What do you need to learn from the testing?
- What time frame are you working within?
We will run through the options Q-Lab has available both for accelerated and outdoor testing, and agree on the most suitable weathering test program for you. Specific details include:
- Test method(s) and the type of exposure
- The quantity of specimens to test
- The dimensions of your specimens and their suitability for testing
- The type and frequency of evaluations or measurements
- The total duration of exposure and whether interim removals are needed
- Method of payment
Once this information is all gathered, Q-Lab will prepare a testing package for that will summarize all testing parameters and the approximate costs involved. We’ll work with you from there to make any needed revisions to the cost estimate and planned test program.
When the proposed test program and costs are acceptable, it’s time to send the specimens to the Q-Lab location where the work will be performed, whether that’s our testing locations in Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Germany, or China. We’ll need a purchase order or pre-payment so that we can begin setting up for your test. We’ll also need a full list identifying your specimens, preferably in a spreadsheet, so that we can transfer the labels directly into our computer system. This speeds up the entire process and reduces the chance for errors. If you send us the test information separately from the physical specimens, please put a cover letter or note in the box, so we can connect the specimens to an order.
Once we have all the specimens and information, we’ll start the process of setting up the test, or "checking in." Our goal is to get all test specimens exposed as soon as we can after their arrival, provided we have all the necessary materials, information, and payment info. Shortly after the specimen exposures begin, you will receive an email from us with your user account and password for our customer web site located at q-portal.com You will conveniently be able to get all your test documentation and reports from this website.
If you have questions at any time during the setup of your test, you may call our customer service representatives in Florida or your test site. Once the test has started, feel free to get in touch with our customer service or laboratory technical team with questions you may have. If you have feedback for us regarding our service, please let us know directly or via customer service feedback feature on our website.
Weathering and corrosion test programs are a great way to understand how your products will perform in their service environments. The guidelines above will help you get started and make sure you get the most out of your testing with Q-Lab. Don’t guess when you can test!