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lab machineryThe CASL Service Center offers a full range of chemical testing services for academia and industry. With capabilities that cover a wide range of instrumental and classical wet chemistry techniques, CASL’s services provide solutions to problems aimed at raw materials testing, chemical impurities, solvent testing and more.

Routine tests performed at CASL include:

  • Environmental assessment of effluent streams, air quality and water quality
  • Identification of chemicals or contaminants in products for quality control
  • Thermo-analysis of wood, thin films, foams, gels, surfactants, biopolymers
  • Rheometric measurements of stress and strain in solid polymers
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis of the viscoelastic properties of materials
  • Klason lignin analyses of pulps and other lignocellulosic samples
  • Carbohydrate compositional analyses of pulps and other polysaccharides-based materials
  • Quality control of paper products
  • Molecular weight distribution determinations

Location Informationstudent lab

The Chemical Analysis and Spectroscopy Laboratory is located on NC State University’s main campus at:

431 Dan Allen Drive
Room 3228 Pulp and Paper Labs
Raleigh, NC 27695

Pulp and Paper Labs – Campus Location Map
Facilities ID: 113B, 35.782488, -78.678226

Contactlab workstation

For inquiries about specific capabilities and available tests or for use of CASL facilities, please contact:

Dr. David Tilotta, Professor and Director
Dr. Jie Liu, Lab manager
Phone: 919-515-5312


Available Instrumentation

The instruments and capabilities in CASL currently include the following:

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometery (FTIR) – Perkin Elmer Frontier

Description: This instrumental technique allows for the detection of functional groups and the characterization of covalent bonding. It can provide information on the molecular structure of your material.

Use: Common applications of molecular spectroscopy include:

  • Chemicals and Materials: Troubleshoot manufacturing problems; identify product contaminants; analyze fuels; gain deeper insights into the properties of novel and advanced materials.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Analyze product formulations and package coatings; rapidly screen the quality of raw materials, intermediates and formulated products; qualify nutraceuticals.
  • Food: Screen for known and unknown adulterants.

Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrometry (UV-Vis) – PerkinElmer LAMBDA XLSlab machinery

Description: UV-Vis is an analytical technique that measures the absorbance of visible or ultraviolet light at a specific wavelength or over a spectral range. By measuring the absorbance of the compound in a solution and calculating its molar extinction coefficient, the concentration of it can be quantified.

Use: UV-Vis analysis on materials include consumer care products, pigments, coatings, organic conjugates (proteins, DNA, RNA) and metallic ions.

Gas Chromatography (GC) – HP6890 (FID Detector), Agilent6890N (FID Detector), Agilent7820A (Mass Detector)lab machinery

 Description: Gas chromatography is an analytical technique used for the determination of organic components that can be volatized. Several detectors are available including a Flame Ionization Detector (FID) that is capable of easily quantifying separated analytes and a mass spectrometer which is useful for identifying components.

Use: With our expertise in Gas Chromatography Method Development we can analyze a broad range of sample types including volatiles, hydrocarbons, glycols, fatty acids, flavors and fragrances or develop a GC or GC/MS method for your unique analysis needs.

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Ion Chromatography – Dionex ICS-5000lab machinery

Description: Ion chromatography (or ion-exchange chromatography) is a chromatographic process that separates ions and polar molecules based on their affinity to an ion exchanger. It works on almost any kind of charged molecule and the two types of ion chromatography available are anion-exchange and cation-exchange. The water-soluble and charged molecules bind to moieties which are oppositely charged by forming ionic bonds to the insoluble stationary phase. T

Use: The CarboPac PA1 column, which is a specialized anion-exchange capillary column, can be used to determine a wide pH range from 0 to 14 at all concentrations of buffer salts. It is ideal for the separation of neutral and acidic monosaccharides.

 Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) – Shimadzu2 0lab machinery

Description: Shimadzu has introduced a GPC system designed specifically to provide superior data reliability and ease of use. Gel permeation chromatography is essential in polymer chemistry for measuring the distribution of molecular weights. The Shimadzu GPC consits of  an LC-20AD, CTO-20A, SPD-20A (Diode Array Detector), RID-20A (Refractive Index Detector), and LabSolutions GPC Software.

Use: The technique is often used for the analysis of the molecular weights of polymers dissolved in THF.

High Pressure Liquid Chromatography – Agilent1200 and Agilent1220

Description: High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC, formerly referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography) is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify components of high boiling point mixtures. It relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material. Each component in the sample interacts slightly differently with the adsorbent material, causing different flow rates for the different components and leading to the separation of the components as they flow out the column.

The Agilent HPLC consists of a pump, autosampler, thermostatted column compartment, and a multiwave/refractive index detector detector that allows for the various analyses of liquid samples.

Use: The primary use for HPLC is the assay of active ingredients in your product. This analysis provides assurance that the product meets labeled specifications and is useful in monitoring the efficacy of the product over time. With our expertise in HPLC, we can analyze a wide range of sample types including pharmaceuticals, organic acids, industrial chemicals, cosmetics, dietary supplements, food and beverages or develop an HPLC method for your unique analysis needs.

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Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) – TGA500lab machinery

Description: TGA is a method of thermal analysis in which changes in physical and chemical properties of materials are measured as a function of increasing temperature (with constant heating rate), or as a function of time (with constant temperature and/or constant mass loss).

Use: It is an especially useful technique for the study of polymeric materials, including thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, composites, plastic films, fibers, coatings and paints. Common applications of TGA include:

  • Materials characterization through analysis of characteristic decomposition patterns
  • Studies of degradation mechanisms and reaction kinetics
  • Determination of organic content in a sample
  • Determination of inorganic (e.g. ash) content in a sample, which may be useful for corroborating predicted material structures or simply used as a chemical analysis.

Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) – DSC2000lab machinery

Description: DSC is a thermoanalytical technique in which the difference in the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a sample and reference is measured as a function of temperature. Both the sample and reference are maintained at nearly the same temperature throughout the experiment. Generally, the temperature program for a DSC analysis is designed such that the sample temperature increases linearly as a function of time. The reference sample should have a well-defined heat capacity over the range of temperatures to be scanned.

Use: Determination of melting points, glass transition temperatures, crystallinity and crystallization temperatures of primarily polymeric compounds. Isothermic runs can also provide info about kinetics for extrusion experiments.

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) – DMAQlab machinery

Description: DMA is a technique used to study and characterize material properties as a function of temperature, time, frequency, stress, atmosphere or a combination of these parameters. This technique applies a constant static force to a material and monitors the material change as temperature or time varies.

Use: DMA is useful for studying the viscoelastic behavior of polymers. A sinusoidal stress is applied and the strain in the material is measured, allowing one to determine the complex modulus. The temperature of the sample or the frequency of the stress are often varied, leading to variations in the complex modulus; this approach can be used to locate the glass transition temperature of the material, as well as to identify transitions corresponding to other molecular motions. Important used include measuring glass transition temperatures and determining the composition of polymers

TA_Rheometer – AR2000lab machinery

Description: A rheometer is a laboratory device used to measure the manner in which a liquid, suspension or slurry flows in response to applied forces. It is used for those fluids which cannot be defined by a single value of viscosity and therefore require more parameters to be set and measured than is the case for a viscometer. It measures the rheology of the fluid. Cone and plate mode for provides a wide variety of shear rates and viscosity ranges, which can be further extended by the use of interchangeable cone spindles. Different models can be selected to meet the specific range of viscosities and shear rates required.

Use: The major uses of rheometry include:

  • Acquisition of steady-state flow curves
  • Measuring the impact of particle size, volume fraction and polydispersity on dispersion flow properties
  • Determination of polymer melt rheology
  • Determination of time-dependent flow behavior and the yield of stress dispersions and its relation to Zeta Potential, thixotropy, and structure recovery