Tips & Techniques

Tips and Techniques

There are countless tips and limitless techniques used in laboratory testing to ensure optimal results and precise data.  Many of these tips may seem elementary but can also be easily forgotten,even by the most seasoned user.  Please refer to this list to brush up on your lab techniques and habits to ensure the best results possible.

Overall Lab Tips

The best technique is to use 5 replicates to ensure correct data.

Always make sure that materials and substrates are at proper testing conditions (TAPPI conditions, which are 23+/- 1C, 50+/-5% RH.  Also, all parts should be equilibrated for 24 hours in these conditions before testing.)

Load Cell Tolerance Chart

Following is a list of recommendations for each of the specified ChemInstruments devices:


  • Always make sure you are using consistent panels
  • Determine that substrates are clean and defect free
  • Clean guide rails and make sure they are well oiled


  • Make sure rubber rollers are in good condition
  • Make sure they are clean and defect free

Tensile Tester

  • Make sure you have the right grips depending on material your testing
  • Do not overload the load cell

Static Shear

  • Make sure the machine is set at a 2⁰ angle
  • Make sure the panels are clean and defect free

Dynamic Shear

  • Make sure jaw is adjusted accordingly
  • Make sure speed is adjusted accordingly


  • Make sure the spindle and anvil faces are clean and calibrated

Probe Tack

  • After cleaning the probe, be sure to give it enough time to dry thoroughly and return to standard temperature
  • Make sure the adhesive is uniformly applied over test holder

Loop Tack

  • If working with a sample 1mil or less, you may have to guide samples down
  • Make sure the sample makes contact as it comes down and touches the panel

Hot Roll Laminator

  • For hard-to bond substrates, increase pressure and add additional heat to increase bond strength
  • Ensure the laminating film goes through the nip of laminator in-line
  • Make sure that there is no slack and aligned while moving through the laminator

Contact Angle

  • The contact angle of various fluids can predict surface energy

Hot Melt Coater Laminator

  • If difficulties arise with the paper or liner, test run with the bottom off
  • If the adhesive is hard to stick to the facestock, do a direct coat then laminate liner to facestock

EZ Coater

  • Be certain to have a flat, clean surface on which to coat

Benchtop Laboratory Laminator

  • Make sure side dams do not have sharp edges to prevent liner tear
  • Make sure bars are completely clean to avoid streaking and contamination