reverse engineering


Reverse Engineering is commonly used to discover the technological principles of a variety of materials, devices and systems. This often requires disassembly of components and analyzing them and their functions in detail. The following questions can be answered through this type of testing:

  • What is the material, device or system made from?

  • How was it made?

  • What supplemental treatments or coatings are present?

What we can do for you:

1.  Products and devices are fabricated from either single components or numerous components. NHML is able to chemically analyze these materials and tell you what the products are made of. We are able to identify the base material of products that are made from polymers, metals and alloys. If the product is a polymer we would use the FTIR process, however, if the product is made out a metal or an alloy, we would identify the material either by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectroscopy or glow discharge spectroscopy (GDS).

2.  The hardness and microstructure of a part or material are key factors in the production of many different products. One must consider these characteristics when developing a new product and when old products fail. NHML is able to analyze the hardness and microstructure of parts and materials. These two tests are useful in the determination of the heat treatment an alloy may have received.  Microscopic examination can also be used to determine if the part in question is a casting, forging and extrusion, or a machined product. As a supplement to the expected mechanical properties deduced from hardness and microstructure, it is sometimes possible to fabricate a tensile specimen from a finished part. Tensile testing a product/material can measure the ultimate tensile strength, maximum elongation and reduction in area. From these measurements, one can determine the following properties: Young’s modulus, yield strength, strain hardening, tensile strength and ductility.

3.  Need to know what the surface of a part or material is made of? Are there coatings or plating that are in question or need to be confirmed? Wondering how thick those coatings are? NHML is able to answer those questions by analyzing the surface of the materials or parts and identify the chemical composition of which they are made of. Typically the surface of the part or material being analyzed would be examined by either energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) or Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to identify any coatings there may be on the part such as paints or plating. Metallographic cross sections can also be prepared to measure the thickness of any coatings that were detected. These cross sections can also reveal the presence of primer layers on painted parts along with multiple layers on plated parts.

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