Analytical Answers applies our technical expertise and insight to tackle challenges across a broad range of industries and applications. These case studies describe some examples of high-level problem solving in action.

The Mystery of the Antique Brass Hardware: How Do We Prevent Corrosion from Destroying the Irreplaceable?

We recently performed an analysis involving a home restoration project. The analysis involved not just any home restoration product, but rather an antique restoration of hardware as part of an overall historic home restoration. In this particular hardware scenario, the paint that the restoration company applied to coat some brass-colored bezels did not adhere to the bezel surface.

Why Packaging Matters

Proper sample packaging can mean the difference between a successful or a failed analysis.  In techniques that analyze small areas or are used to determine trace chemical composition, packaging that appears innocuous can contribute as much material as was present initially.

Competitive Product Analysis 

Competitive product analysis is an activity that product engineers face routinely. Two work horses of competitive product analysis are microscopy and spectroscopy. This case study describes pairing the two techniques to best understand a competitor’s product.

Analysis of Complex Organic Materials

Identifying the components of a candle and determining whether or not compositional claims are accurate can be a challenge. Many analytical tools could be used, but in this case study we focus on infrared spectroscopy and our knowledge of the chemistry of waxes and scents.

Infrared Imaging

Fourier Transform Infrared Chemical Imaging is a technique that that provides wavelength-specific, high resolution infrared images and the underlying spectral data used to determine chemical differences in a sample.

Failure Analysis of a Motorcycle Suspension

This case study describes the application of a variety of microscopy techniques to examine a failed motorcycle suspension to determine the root cause of the failure.

The Tale of a Spark Plug

Outwardly the appearance of a spark plug has not changed—but internally there have been many improvements. Those improvements have been accompanied by a rise in price. This case study explores whether or not the amount of refractory metals used in modern spark plugs accounts for this increase.

Real Costs of Purchasing an Instrument

As the business climate improves, many companies who utilize outside analytical services start to wonder if it makes more sense to bring the capability in-house. This white paper describes the pros and cons of such a move — and, more importantly, points out hidden costs may make this choice more complicated than originally thought.

Complex Mixtures for Complex Tastes

Separating complex mixtures into individual components for identification and quantitation has led to the development of “hyphenated” analytical techniques. Here, GC (Gas Chromatography) coupled to a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, with subsequent Flame Ionization Detection (FID), produces both qualitative identification and quantitative measurement of complex mixtures.

Introducing Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC)

In an update to AAI’s gas-phase chromatographic techniques of GC/FID, GC/FTIR, and GC/MS, Analytical Answers has acquired and implemented the latest liquid chromatographic instrumentation to separate complex liquid mixtures. This introduction demonstrates separation and characterization of different root beers based on cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).