Nonmetallic materials, durable and lightweight engineered materials present in nearly everything around us, are gaining ground because of the wide range of beneficial properties they offer. Specially engineered for flame resistance, flexibility, durability, and chemical resistance, nonmetallics can be designed to meet any number of specific application requirements.

IMR Test Labs provides analyses on new materials, supports your R&D efforts, provides production control testing, and conducts comparative analyses between raw materials and suppliers.

Equipped with a climate-controlled laboratory staffed with highly-trained engineers, PhDs, and technicians dedicated to analyzing these materials and their unique properties, IMR can assist you in evaluating the various aspects of your nonmetallics, including strength, composition, resistance to wear, chemical exposure, or weathering conditions. Nonmetallic materials that we frequently work with include:

Nonmetallics & composites Testing

  • Polymers
  • Composites
  • Coatings
  • Ceramics
  • Contaminants

We offer the following nonmetallic testing services to provide you with the data you need to make informed decisions about your nonmetallic materials:

Failure Analysis

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Determining the cause of failure in a given material is a crucial part of the design process. We offer myriad testing services to analyze the mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of your material or product to help you determine the root cause – and other contributing factors such as applied stresses, fracture origins, or trace contaminants – that led to failure. Our recommendations based on failure analysis results will assist with further material selection and product design. IMR’s expertise includes:

  • Interviewing process stakeholders to determine exact failure conditions
  • Evaluating field failures/returns
  • Discovering manufacturing process inefficiencies
  • Lifecycle evaluation
  • Defect detection and design review
  • Contaminant identification/detection
  • Corrosion identification
  • Environmental impacts


Material Characterization

Determining the beneficial characteristics and potential limitations of your material in advance of production can be a crucial step toward the ultimate success of your design. By analyzing your raw material and identifying the benefits and risks of your selection, the staff at IMR helps you to ensure you have picked the right material for your application. Our extensive list of material characterization tests includes:

  • Additive Analysis to Trace Level
  • Bond Strength
  • Chemical Exposure Testing
  • Coefficient of Friction
  • Compression Set
  • Compressive Properties (-40°F to 660°F)
  • Density & Specific Gravity
  • DSC Analysis:
  • Melting Point
  • Glass Transition
  • % Crystallinity
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA)
  • Testing
  • Extractables
  • Fatigue Testing (ambient temperature)
  • Flammability
  • Flexural Properties (-240°F to 660°F)                  
  • FTIR Analysis                                                    
  • Hardness (Rockwell, Durometer, Barcol)
  • Heat Aging
  • Impact Strength
  • Lap Shear Testing
  • Material Identification
  • Melt Flow Rate/Index
  • Oil Content
  • SEFA Testing
  • SEM/EDS Analysis: Fillers
  • Tensile Properties (-40°F to 660°F)
  • TGA Analysis: Polymer Glass and Ash Content
  • TMA: Glass Transition, Coefficient of Thermal Expansion, Heat Deflection
  • Viscosity
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Paints & Coatings

Paints and coatings are used across a broad range of industries to increase resistance and other properties on surfaces, parts, and components. A thorough analysis of your coating or paint selection helps to ensure that it will improve the necessary characteristics required by your design or application. A post-failure analysis can also help to determine if your coating contributed to failure. We offer the following services to analyze paints and coatings:

  • Coating Shear Fatigue
  • Coating Thickness
  • Dime Scrape
  • Flexibility
  • Impact Resistance
  • Material Identification (Base Polymer)
  • Material Properties of Liquid Paints and Coatings
  • MIL-STD-801 Section 504 Testing (Contamination by Fluids)
  • Pencil Hardness
  • Solvent Resistance
  • Specular Gloss (20° and 60°)
  • Stain Resistance

Trace Analysis

The presence of unexpected trace elements occasionally occurs due to environmental exposure or other factors. The presence of trace constituents may alter the predicted properties and performance of a material. IMR Test Labs performs an array of tests aimed at detecting trace amounts of foreign substances, such as:

  • Polymer Additives
  • Coating Thickness
  • Dime Scrape
  • Flexibility
  • Impact Resistance
  • Material Identification (Base Polymer)
  • Material Properties of Liquid Paints and Coatings
  • MIL-STD-801 Section 504 Testing (Contamination by Fluids)
  • Pencil Hardness
  • Solvent Resistance
  • Specular Gloss (20° and 60°)
  • Stain Resistance

Fatigue Testing

Fatigue, a leading cause of failure, is the result of repeated exposure to stresses. Cyclical stresses may eventually cause cracks or fractures that ultimately result in the failure of a given material or finished product. Understanding the fatigue limits of your product expands your overall view of the product lifecycle and helps you determine options to extend the service life of the goods you manufacture. We offer the following fatigue testing services:

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We also offer a range of ASTM testing methods, such as:

  • E466 – Axial Load Controlled Fatigue Testing
  • E606 – Strain Controlled Fatigue Testing
  • F399 – Fracture Toughness
  • F1160 – Cyclic Fatigue of Hip Joints without Torsion
  • F1612 – Cyclic Fatigue of Hip Joints with Torsion
  • F1800 – Cyclic Fatigue of Knee Joints
  • Tensile Testing

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)

To determine the stress factors and risks present in polymers, our staff conducts a range of tests categorized as Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. All of our DMA testing is compliant with certifications from NADCAP, IS17025, GE, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, and many others. Our Q800 Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer and highly experienced technicians and scientists provide a range of DMA testing services, such as:

  • Glass Transition (Tg) Temperature and Secondary Transition Measurements
  • Orientation Determinations Caused by Processing Cold Crystallization Testing
  • Properties of Filler Effects in Composites
  • Creep Testing
  • Stress Relaxation
  • Transient
  • Dynamic Oscillatory
  • Stress/Strain
  • Phase Difference
  • Material Stiffness
    • Chemical Composition
      • Heavy Metals Analysis (ASTM F1088)
      • ICP-AES Chemical Analysis
      • ICP-MS Trace Analysis
      • Identification of Unknown Powders
      • Particle Size Analysis
      • Sieve Analysis
      • XRF Chemical Analysis
      • Mechanical Testing
        • Abrasion Testing
        • Bend Strength
        • Density
        • Fatigue Testing
        • High Temperature to 1800° F
        • Indentation Toughness
        • Modulus of Rupture (MOR)
        • Single-Edged Notched Beams (SENB)
        • Wear Testing
        • Materialography
          • Failure Analysis
          • Fractographic Analysis
          • Grain Size
          • Microhardness (Knoop, Vickers)
          • Microstructure
        • Direct Mercury Analyzer (DMA) for mercury testing
        • ICP analysis for cadmium, chromium, and lead
        • Ion Chromatography for bromine testing
        • XRF Screening
        • Grind testing to verify supplier RoHS compliance
      • X-Ray Diffraction Analysis
        • Ca:P Ratio of Hydroxyapatite
        • Percent Crystallinity
        • Phase Identification
        • Powder Diffraction

XRD Analysis

X-Ray powder diffraction (XRD) is typically used to provide valuable insight about the purity of crystalline solids and powders. However, XRD testing methods may also be used to discover and identify contaminants or corrosives.

Our chemists have extensive training and experience deciphering the complex results of XRD testing. XRD analyses can be a useful tool for any industry that utilizes high-purity materials.

Industry Benefits

Our advanced testing services are employed across a comprehensive array of industries to verify the safety and quality of raw materials and the components they create. Some of these industries include:


The aerospace sector bears stringent requirements for quality, because few other industries pose the same risks when failure occurs. We verify raw materials, perform thorough testing of new products, analyze critical failures, and offer overflow testing support for a variety of aerospace OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers as they seek to implement lighter weight materials into their manufacturing processes. Our aerospace testing services have been accredited by some of the biggest names in the sector, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Airbus.

Using our waterjet cutter, we cut pristine test samples to ensure that test results will not be impacted by damage or cracks from the cutting process. This cutting process is also safer for our employees and makes aerospace composites more visible.

Power Generation

Power plants cannot afford unscheduled downtime, so they must guarantee that the equipment they work with is built for longevity and reliability. We offer a wide variety of services to the power generation sector, such as R&D support, failure analyses, raw material analyses, and commercial-grade verification testing.

We serve power generation clients ranging from fossil fuel plants and sustainable energy plants to nuclear power. IMR Test Labs holds all necessary certifications to work with power generation stakeholders of any type.


Part failures can cause severe brand damage for automotive manufacturers and may result in costly litigation or recalls. We offer our automotive clients R&D support, production checks, failure testing, and comparative analyses of materials, lots, and suppliers to assist with decision-making processes and reduce part failure risk. Most of our routine testing services for the automotive sector can be turned around in three days or less.

Of particular note to automotive stakeholders, IMR Test Labs-Louisville has been granted the prestigious Class A Laboratory certification from Daimler Corporation for our high standards of excellence. We also hold accreditations from Rolls Royce, Kawasaki, and Volvo.


In many areas of the world – including the United States – infrastructure projects are drastically underfunded. We offer a range of material verification testing, comparative analyses, weathering and corrosion testing, and failure analysis testing to help construction and municipal entities find materials and products that offer the longest possible service life with the least amount of risk for the best price.

Related Blog Posts

Seven Common Failure Mechanisms in Non-Metallic Materials

Non-metallic fabrication materials such as polymers, ceramics, fiber-reinforced composites, and coatings continue to see increased usage in manufacturing applications where metallic materials are too heavy or too susceptible to corrosion. In these use cases, it’s important that stakeholders ranging from design engineers to procurement professionals understand the various problems and limitations that can arise if materials are not carefully selected. Read more.

Investigative Methods for Determining Failure Causes in Non-Metallic Materials

There are abundant reasons why a non-metallic material might fail; These vary widely based on the specific material, the application for which it is intended, and the environment to which it is exposed. Thorough fatigue testing is the best way to determine in advance if a material will be suitable for specific operational conditions. When necessary, failure analysis can also determine why a design failed after the fact. Read more.

Free eBooks

Composites Testing for the Aerospace Industry

A thorough guide of the various chemical, mechanical and destructive testing designed to gain important knowledge about a composite materials characteristics.

click here to download composites testing for the aerospace industry eBook

Safety & Part Longevity through Fatigue Testing

Discover the various ways that fatigue testing can ensure safety and reliability, as well as determine the longevity of a part or product.

Download here

Guide to Failure Analysis

Analyzing failures is a critical process in manufacturing and product development.

Download here

Services Related to Non-Metallic Testing

Additional Services

IMR Test Labs also offers the following services related to nonmetallic testing:

Ask the Expert Staff at IMR Test Labs

More than 200 highly trained and educated PhDs, engineers, chemists, lab technicians, and support staff work for IMR Test Labs, meeting and exceeding the needs of our clients across myriad industries every day. We strive to provide thorough analyses on every project and to make doing business with us as easy as possible. We will not just hand you a data sheet and send you out the door; We’ll help you interpret the data we gather to better understand what it means for you and your business moving forward.

To learn more about our nonmetallic testing or other services, please call us at 888-464-8822 or request a quote.

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