Our lab assists with materials testing, new product development, and troubleshooting

The materials science lab specializes in the testing of plastics. Although certain tests are available at other organizations, only at the Polymers Center can processors compound, mold, and test all in one location.

Some of our customers are looking for solutions for material questions, such as why a new lot of material is failing; others need answers to flow issues, and still others are looking to identify the physical properties of their polymer resin. In any of these cases, the Polymers Center can help. Often, we act as a disinterested third-party that helps settle a dispute between vendors and processors.

Express Service
If results are needed fast, we can expedite certain tests and have results to our customers within 24 hours for an additional fee.

Volume Service
If your company needs multiple tests done repeatedly, we will work out an arrangement to reduce the cost. Please call to discuss and develop a plan that fits your needs.

We offer a variety of mechanical and chemical analysis testing, including:

  • Material composition identification
  • Thermal & mechanical properties determination
  • Failure analysis
  • Quality assurance testing
  • Capillary Rheometry


MI40 Melt Flow Indexer

The primary purpose of the MI40, from Goettfert, is to measure the melt flow index (MFI) of a polymer depending on the temperature and load chosen. MFI has applications in comparing densities of PE or determining if your part has been oversheared or improperly dried during or prior to manufacturing.This melt indexer can carry out measurements according to ISO 1133 and ASTM D1238, procedures B, C and D, and ASTM D 3364. Other uses of this stand-alone unit include the evaluation and comparison of materials, analysis of new incoming materials, and multi-load testing with up to 8 test weights ascending, descending or freely selectable.

Instron 3360 Series Universal Tester

The Instron 3360 Series Universal Tester is equipped to perform tensile, three-point flex, and Poisson’s ratio. The Instron 3119-609 environmental chamber allows for tensile and flex testing from 150C to 350C for any sub-ambient and elevated temperature studies.

Instron Environmental Chamber

The Instron 3119 Environmental Chamber allows for non-ambient physical testing of your samples. Polymers Center can perform tensile, flex, tear, and other ASTM standards at elevated temperatures up to 350oC.

Instron HV3S HDT/Vicat Tester

The Instron HV3S HDT/Vicat tester is for thermo-mechanical testing of plastic materials. The HV3S system is used to evaluate the behavior of plastics at high temperatures by measuring the heat deflection temperature (HDT) and the Vicat softening temperature (Vicat) of materials. With this system, the Polymers Center can offer ASTM D648 and ASTM D1525, both low and high loads, with oil temperatures up to 200C.


Detection of flow instabilities is a new capability of the Polymers Center Materials Science lab via the Goettfert Sharkskin add-on. We are able to measure pressure fluctuations of material using high-speed detector and signal amplifier to detect the onset of extrudate roughness to help optimize your extrusion processes.

Below is a listing of the tests that are available at the Polymer Center:

Ash Content ASTM D5630 2 Open
Density/Specific Gravity ASTM D792 5 Pellets. Sample Part
Flexural Test ASTM 790 5 ASTM bar
Gardner Impact Test ASTM D5240 20 minimum ASTM disk or Flat Sample Parts
Shore Hardness ASTM D2240 5 readings Min. Thickness
Izod Impact ASTM D256 5 ASTM bar
Melt Flow Rate ASTM D1238 1 Pellets Sample Part
Capillary Rheology ASTM D3835 1 Pellets Runners
Melt Strength – Rheotens 1 Pellets Runners
Melting Point and Tg by DSC ASTM D3418 1 Open
Moisture Content via Weight Loss 2 Pellets
Tensile Test ASTM D638, D882, D412 ISO 527 5 Test Bars
Vicat Softening Point ASTM D1525 3 Test Bars Flat Sample Part
Circulating Air Oven Aging ASTM D5510, D3045 5 Sample Part

Sample bars can be manufactured in our injection molding department for an addition charge. Please contact PCE for specific sample size requirements if you have any questions.

*Many tests are required by the ASTM standard to allow a conditioning time of 40 hours; therefore, we cannot offer express turnaround for these tests. Number of specimens required for testing is material dependent. Prices subject to change without notice.

Sample bars can be manufactured in our injection molding department for an addition charge. Please contact PCE for specific sample size requirements if you have any questions.

Most test charges are for standard setup and testing. Special tests, or tests which require changes to equipment, should be discussed with the Test Lab.

Additional tests are available that are not listed in the table.

Contact Mr. Yiro Shimabukuro, Materials Chemist, at 1-704-602-4117 to schedule testing or discuss your testing needs.
You may also reach Yiro by email yiros@polymers-center.org

Customer Testimonials

“I have found The Polymers Center of Excellence to be an excellent laboratory for all the polymer testing we do on our products. They are both responsive and efficient with the work they do for us. Carl Thomas does an excellent job in getting the information to us quickly and thoroughly in his reports. He is always a phone call away should we need him to interpret the data for us. PCE also has worked closely with us in developing specialty compounds for the polymer marketplace. There variety of twin screw compounding lines allows us not only to prototype our compounds in small quantities, but once we have established a working formula, their larger lines suit us perfectly for production size runs. The staff at PCE are courteous and efficient. I would recommend them to anyone for their polymer testing, operator training, or specialty compounding needs.”

Ray Dlugos, President, Ace Plastics Inc.

“PCE has been a benchmark – gold standard partner for Microban International. We have expanded the breadth and depth of our product range four-fold over the last several years and they have been there with us every step of the way. Their expertise, unique problem solving ability, high standard of quality and safety and hyper focus on customer satisfaction are a model for us all.”

Thomas Kotterer, Vice President Global Operations, Microban International Ltd.

“I attended four courses put on by the Polymers Center of Excellence, and quite frankly they are the most practical and useful training classes I have had so far in my career. The instructor, Joe Henz, literally brought boxes full of examples showing well designed parts as well as failures and the causes for them, manufacturing defects, gating and much more. The course handouts contained many pictures and clear explanations, and even today they are some of the most heavily used resources on my bookshelf. If you are looking for a solid introduction to plastics, I highly recommend the Polymers Center of Excellence for your training needs.”

Jeff Wickham, Founder, Medical Device Engineers Network

“For those looking for testing, evaluation of existing plastic products, prototyping and developing new products, the Polymer s Center for Excellence is your go-to source. Their test and production equipment is up to date and functional. The personnel who oversee the equipment are professional and knowledgeable, many having come from the Plastics Industry with impressive academic backgrounds. In a sentence, they know what they are doing! They can and will answer your questions honestly. In the event they do not know the answer or you require additional information they will not hesitate to let you know they find out. It was refreshing to discover such a remarkable polymer resource right here in North Carolina. No need to go to Texas or New Jersey anymore. I applaud PCE’s efforts and accomplishments in putting together such a remarkable facility.”

Thomas A. Hempstead, Quality Packaging Company of NC

“Earth Renewable Technologies focuses on making environmentally friendly packaging products. One of the reasons I enjoy working with the Polymers Center is that they are always accommodating when it comes to doing tests. The Polymers Center always works with us on figuring out solutions by utilizing more than one method.”

Jason Wolfe, Earth Renewable Technologies

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