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Deformulation (Reverse Engineering) Services for Coatings & Paints

Reverse engineering, or deformulation is the breaking down of a formulation into its basic components, usually finding ingredients that are present down to the 1% level. It involves the separation of the coating components and then identification of these components through analytical chemistry.

These investigations can answer such questions as:

  • What's in my competitor's product?
  • Why is the new supplier's coating different?
  • What is causing the batch-to-batch variations?

A client may be looking for a specific component in a paint formula or may need a full product deformulation.

Paint and coating reverse engineering usually starts with solvent analysis using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) to identify and quantify solvents. Dried coating samples can then be extracted with proprietary solvent combinations to isolate materials based on solubility. Once materials are isolated, they can be identified using a number of analytical techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (SEM/EDS). Other methods can be used to quantify such as Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), and Karl Fisher titration.

Following deformulation, our reformulation experts can help recreate the formula.

Click to read "The Art & Science of Paint Deformulation"