Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I've never done weathering testing before but I think I want to send in some specimens for testing, what do I do?

If you're almost ready to do some testing but you've never done this before and you're not sure how the process works, don't worry it's quite simple. There are a few important things to remember though to make it easier and get things rolling faster.

The first step is to contact us, and the telephone or email works equally well for a first time contact. The best number to call for new service is our Florida location at +1 (305) 245-5600 and let the receptionist know you want to discuss a new test. If you email us at q-lab@q-lab.com asking for a call back, there are a few bits of information that you can include which will help us prepare.

  • What is your product, and what material is it made of.
  • What is the end use and where is the expected usage location
  • What is the anticipated time of durability and what are the expected failure modes
  • What are your objectives from the testing

One of our customer service people will contact you back or will talk with you immediately, and our aim is to determine the best test method for your needs. During this discussion we will ask you some more questions such as:

  • Are you testing to meet a specification or to improve durability
  • What is your budget for testing
  • What do you need to learn from the testing
  • What time frame are you working within

We will run through the options available both for accelerated and outdoor testing, and together we will agree on which is the most suitable weathering test or tests for you. We will agree on the following specific items:

  • Test method to use, and the type of exposure
  • The quantity of specimens to test
  • The dimensions of your specimens and their suitability for testing
  • The type and frequency of evaluations or measurements
  • The total duration of exposure and whether interim removals are needed
  • How the test is going to be paid for

Once this is all gathered, someone at Q-Lab will prepare a cost estimate for you which will also include all the parameters of the test. This will confirm the testing that we will perform for you and give you an idea of the costs involved. If you need to, you may contact us again and revise the test program. We will issue you a revised cost estimate and exposure analysis.

When everyone is agreed that the test program and costs are acceptable, you should now go ahead and send the specimens to Q-Lab. Typically you can send your test specimens directly to the test site location where the testing will take place. There are a couple of items you will need to include in the box of specimens, or you can provide them to us separately. We need a purchase order and a list of the specimens to be tested. We cannot start the checking in process until we have a purchase order or pre-payment for the test. We also need a full ID list, preferably in a spreadsheet, so that we can transfer the labels directly into our computer system. This speeds up the entire process and reduces the chance for errors. If you send us the test information separately, please put a cover letter or note in the box, so we can connect the specimens to an order.

The process of setting up the test is known as "checking in", and we may need to contact you during this phase if there is any missing information. Our goal is to get all test specimens exposed very soon after their arrival, provided we have all the necessary information, and a purchase order. Once the specimens are exposed, you will shortly thereafter receive an email from us with your user account and password for our customer web site at www.myweathertest.com  You will be able to get all your test documentation and reports from this website

If you have any questions at any time during the set up of your test, you may call any of our customer service people in Florida, Arizona, or Ohio. Once the test has started you may contact either your customer service person, or talk directly to the lab technicians performing the test.

If you have any feedback for us regarding our service, please let us know. Or you can use the customer service feedback feature on our website.

 

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Q-Lab Phone Numbers

USA: +1-440-835-8700
Florida & Arizona Test Services: +1-305-245-5600
UK/Europe: +44-1204-861616
Germany: +49-681-857470
China: +86-21-5879-7970

 
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