Chemical and physical testing laboratory

The study and optimization of materials involve the proper characterization of their physical and chemical properties. Discover Certimac's services for chemical analysis and physical analysis

What are the chemical and physical analysis of materials and what they are for?
Chemical-physical properties characterize the behavior and state of a material.

Physical properties are those that define the substance and its appearance, such as color, melting temperature, electrical conductivity, and density. These are all properties of a substance that can be observed and determined without altering the composition of the material.

Chemical properties, on the other hand, are those exhibited by a substance when it interacts with another, such as flammability, corrosiveness, and reactivity. These properties are specific characteristics of the analyzed material.

Chemical-physical properties are fundamental parameters for determining the safety, reliability, and long-term performance of products used in both civil and industrial applications.
What physical and chemical analyses on materials do we perform in our laboratories?
The chemical analysis and physical testing laboratory at Certimac primarily focuses on studying materials from a chemical, physical, and technological perspective, both for product certification and in the processes of innovation and R&D to support industry.

Equipped with state-of-the-art instruments and technologies, the laboratory conducts analyses on the chemical and physicochemical characteristics of a wide range of materials and finished products used in various industries. The analyses are carried out by specialized technical personnel and materials engineers following test methodologies validated according to regulatory requirements.

Below, by way of example and not exhaustively, are some of the tests, investigations, and experiments conducted at our chemical and physical materials analysis laboratory, often in collaboration with a network of partner laboratories and research institutions.
Ask our expert
Eng. Simone Bandini, PhD
Materials’ chemical and physical analysis specialist

Physical Characteristics

They refer to the general characteristics of the materials in relation to external agents, such as heat, gravity, electricity, ... Together with the thermal properties of the materials, they contribute to determining the significant picture of the performance behavior of the material, which must also be tested based on the specific applications and intended uses.
Dimensional and geometric characteristics thickness, length, width, flatness, straightness, plane-parallelism
Behavior to wear
Density in a geometric (apparent) way, in a hydrostatic way, by pycnometry on solids or loose products.
Linear thermal expansion and expansion due to humidity
Porosimetric distribution
Contrasted expansion linear shrinkage and dimensional stability
Dry and wet grain size by sieving and laser grain size
Friction properties and degree of slipping
Resistance to abrasion (deep and superficial) and scratching
Thermo Dilatometry up to 1500 ° C

Chemical characteristics

The chemical characteristics of the materials concern the chemical composition and their internal structure. The chemical properties also include the phenomena that occur between the material and the external environment (oxidation, corrosion, etc.). The chemical characteristics are strongly correlated with the durability of the materials.
Electron microscope analysis (SEM), qualitative and semi-quantitative chemical analysis (EDS)
Mineralogical analysis by XRD and interpretation of the diffractogram
Quantitative analysis to determine the content of specific elements and / or oxides (carbon dioxide, lime and free water, chlorides, sulphates, calcium and magnesium oxides, fluorine, chromium, etc.)
Simultaneous weight and differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA) up to 1100 ° C
Determination of the carbonate content (Calcimetry)
Determination of pH
Emission of volatile organic substances (VOC and TVOC) and formaldehyde
Emission of volatile organic substances (VOC and TVOC) and formaldehyd retardant properties and fire behavior by calorimeter - CIF X-ray fluorescence
Plasma emission spectrometry (ICP)
Glass transition temperature

Behavior to water and vapor

The vapor permeability of a material can be considered, depending on the type and conditions of application, a positive characteristic (allows the normal steam flow) or negative one. The behavior of the materials to water and vapor has a strong impact on their thermal properties: these two parameters combine to determine the performance picture of the material to be tested, always taking into consideration the specific applications and intended uses.
Absorption, retention and permeability to water by capillarity, immersion, short or long period at ambient pressure or high pressure (positive or negative pressure)
Attitude to efflorescence, determination of soluble salts and calcareous inclusions
Water content by weight and air content
Permeability to water vapor (degree of breathability)
Permeability to carbon dioxide and analysis of penetration by phenolphthalein
Resistance to chemical agents (alkali, bases, acids) and to stains

Presence of Hazardous Substances

Through X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrophotometric measurement, it is possible to qualitatively and quantitatively determine the composition of a material sample. 

This non-destructive analytical technique allows for characterizing the basic chemical and physical composition of materials and finished products and identifying their constituent elements, including - if present - hazardous and toxic elements (e.g., heavy metals).

The analyses are carried out based on the requirements specified by directives such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive 2002/95/EC or the REACH regulations.

The XRF analysis technique finds application in various fields and industries, including material and finished product inspection, recycling of metal waste, mining exploration and geochemistry, environmental assessment, safety analysis, precious metal analysis, cultural heritage preservation, and the composition analysis of cement powders, soils, and clays.

Optical surface properties

Determination of chemical properties by experiment, physical and water and water vapor behavior of materials, can be further completed by a series of specific tests dedicated to the determination of surface and optical properties: contact angle, specific surface (BET), gloss brilliance, solar reflectance index (SRI).

Guide to tests and analyses

Discover the over 400 tests available in our laboratories


Why choose Certimac?

We have a wide range of state-of-the-art instruments capable of characterizing materials under different aspects: physical, chemical and technological to comply with mandatory regulations such as CE Marking CPR, ASTM, Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM) certification.

Our team of materials scientists and laboratory technicians fine-tune and perform tests according to international guidelines and standards. We are also members of several international Working Groups for the development and validation of new test standards.

The competence of our technicians and engineers and the reliability of our equipment and protocols, offer the customer the guarantee of accuracy and the technical support essential for the correct interpretation of the data.

The partnership with ENEA and CNR allows you to constantly follow the evolution of legislation and scientific innovation on the national and international scene, to guarantee the execution of tests according to high methodological standards and with advanced laboratory equipment.

Discover the other material testing laboratories

The chemical and physical properties of the materials are usually tested in association with other characteristics. Discover all the Certimac testing laboratories.

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