Materials Identification, Verification of Specifications, and Fraud Prevention
Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc. has performed many analyses and investigations for the purpose of identifying materials, determining whether they satisfy specifications, and to detect fraudulent claims and substitutions of materials. Some examples follow:
- Our customer obtained large glass parts from China for an outside application. Within a few months, the glass turned yellow and sometimes cracked. A borosilicate glass composition had been specified which was not UV-sensitive. Freshly fractured surfaces of the specified and the yellowed glass were quantitatively analyzed by XPS. The supplied glass had only one-ninth the boron concentration of the specified glass. The atomic concentration of sodium was 3 times higher, that of barium was doubled, and there was additional calcium in the Chinese-supplied glass. The yellowed glass also had potassium, chlorine, and zinc concentrations not found in the clear glass. The substituted glass did not have a small concentration of fluorine found in the specified glass and carbon found in it had carbon-oxygen bonding not found in the specified glass. The specified borosilicate glass was found by TMA to have a lower thermal expansion than the substituted glass, which prevented the cracking found sometimes in the Chinese substituted glass parts.
- A diamond simulant gemstone sold by Diamond Nexus Laboratories (DNL) was ordered on 27 March 2012 and examined to see if it was different from ordinary and inexpensive cubic zirconia as claimed. They also claimed the gemstone was coated with corundum (aluminum oxide or sapphire) to give it more scratch and degradation resistance. In addition, DNL claimed the gemstone was polycrystalline. We had ordered a gemstone in 2007 to see if it was different than yttrium-stabilized cubic zirconia as they claimed on their website at that time, but found then that it was virtually identical to known Signity yttrium-stabilized cubic zirconia. The DNL website in March 2012 displayed laboratory reports on gemstones they said they had developed with a corundum surface coating. This is the product we purchased and examined. However, we found that the March 2012 product was still just yttrium-stabilized cubic zirconia without a surface coating of corundum. The gemstone was, of course, a single crystal, not polycrystalline as stated on the supplier website. The report can be examined. The length of the report did not allow it to be uploaded in its entirety, so it is broken into two parts: Report Part 1 and Report Part 2.
- Numerous thermally insulated aluminum alloy building claddings were examined following the terrible Grenfell Tower fire in London. Several of the thermally insulated cladding materials were found to be fire hazards, while others were confirmed to be fire-retardant. These materials were taken from buildings and a program was begun by our client to replace the dangerous claddings.