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Contract Laboratory Profile: Combustion Research Center

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 4:20am

Combustion Research Center
Combustion Research Center

Headquarters
Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.

Location(s)
Holliston, MA

Years providing contract services
40+ Years

Spokesperson
Dr. Joseph A. Senecal, Director

www.kidde-crc.com

What services are offered/performed by the company?
  Air testing      Analytical testing

 

Biological   

 

Chemical

 

Chromatography   

 

Drug development

 

Electrical/Electronic   

 

Electrostatic

 

Environmental Impact   

 

Environmental Simulation

 

Environmental stress testing   

Fire Testing

 

Geotechnical   

 

Ionization

 

Materials characterization   

 

Materials Testing

 

Mechanical Testing   

 

Mercury testing

 

Metrology   

 

Microscopy/Surface Analysis

 

Nondestructive Testing   

 

Optics/Photometry

 

Preclinical studies   

 

Radiation

 

Rheological testing   

 

Spectroscopy

 

Thermal Analysis   

 

Vibration

 

Other   

 

 

 

What services are offered/performed by the company?
  Energy Analysis      Consulting Services

 

Chromatography   

 

Elemental Testing

 

Wet Chemistry   

 

Physical Chemistry

 

Analytical Chemistry   

 

Method Development

 

Method Validation   

 

Stability Studies

 

Microbiology Testing   

 

Biological Testing

 

Dissolution Testing   

 

Water Testing

 

Adhesive Analysis   

 

Agricultural Inspection

 

Calibration   

 

Calorimetry

 

Catalyst Testing   

 

Chemical Analysis

 

Crystallography   

 

Emissions Testing

 

Environmental Testing   

 

Failure Analysis

 

Fabric Analysis   

 

Material Testing

 

Food Safety Analysis   

 

Forensics

Fuel Testing   

 

Spectroscopy

 

Mechanical Properties Testing   

 

Melamine Detection

 

BPA Dectection   

 

Metallurgy Analysis

 

Quality Control   

 

Toxicology

 

Thermal Analysis   

 

Plastic Testing

 

Rubber Testing   

 

Solvent Analysis

 

Sterility Testing   

 

Bioburden Analysis

 

Air Testing   

 

Dioxin Testing

 

Emergent Chemical Testing   

 

Mercury Testing

 

Mine Testing   

 

Odor Testing

 

Electronics Testing   

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe the company/organization role in the given testing/service area the company provides.
The Combustion Research Center (CRC) is a business unit of Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. The CRC provides testing services related to the combustion and ignition properties of dusts, liquids and gases through application of ASTM standard test methods. The CRC laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025.

Describe the company’s experience and expertise in the company’s service area.
The CRC has been providing materials testing services for over 40 years in primarily in support of process safety, explosion prevention system design and fire protection systems.

Relationship with companies
CRC test services are offered on a fixed price proposal basis. All work is confidential and performed under agreed terms and conditions designed specifically to support the unique requirements of testing services.

Factors for your testing/service area
Critical to the customer is an accurate understanding the combustion hazard properties of materials used or found in their processes or plant environments. Customers play an important role in the testing process as it is they who select and prepare material samples, especially dusts, that are submitted for testing. Combustion hazard test results are accurate only for the material actually tested. If the sample submitted does not fairly represent the materials found in the process areas then the customer’s understanding of explosion and fire risks in their process or facility could be non-conservative. The CRC attempts to mitigate such risk by informing the client of the practices recommended in standards for sample selection and preparation.

Laboratory equipment or techniques are important in your area of testing
Each ASTM standard test method for determination of a material ignition or combustion property requires the use of highly specified test equipment that is subject to calibration and validation. All CRC test systems and measuring devices are fully calibrated and validated against recognized standards.

Scientific trends/business trends/regulatory trends are impacting contract laboratories or the company’s testing/service area today
Materials processing technologies frequently generate very finely divided particulate solids (dusts) as a step in product manufacturing. Ignition and explosion properties of dusts become more hazardous as particle size becomes smaller. The number of companies that recognize the risks of dust processing is growing thus placing increased demand for combustion hazards testing of materials.

The periodic, and unfortunate, occurrence of industrial explosions that have lead to death and injury of personnel and extensive facility losses have resulted in OSHA taking action in the form of promulgation of new regulations. These regulations are intended to reduce the risk of industrial explosions. An important element of the regulations is testing of industrial dusts to determine their explosion characteristics. The requirements are set forth by OSHA in Directive CPL 03-00-008 -Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program.

Success story
A processor of animal food products experienced several fires in industrial web dryers in a single year. Process analysis revealed that product dusts were accumulating in depth in “dead spaces” within the dryer housing. Analysis of the ignition properties of the dusts revealed critical relationships between temperature, dust layer depth and exposure time in connection with the likelihood that accumulated dust would self-ignite, i.e. spontaneously combust.

How will roles of contract laboratories change over the next few years?
Combustion testing is a very specialized practice. In general, companies do not have the expertise to bring this test service in house. Growing regulatory emphasis on reduction of the risk of fires and explosions in industrial settings will likely lead to increased demand for these services.

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