Questions answered

  • How do I replace an obsolete component in ‘product A’?
  • What is the difference between ‘batch B’ and ‘batch C’?
  • Can you help me to recreate ‘historical product D’?
  • How do I replace the banned ‘compound E’?
  • Why does the product of ‘competitor F’ perform better?

What is product deformulation?

Deformulation (or reversed engineering) is an analytical approach that decomposes a product (semi-)quantitatively into its constituent components and also tries to identify the function of each component in the formulation.

The result of a complete deformulation analysis can ideally be regarded as a ‘recipe’ of the product(Disclaimer: use of that information may be limited by patents, copyrights or trademarks.)

Why re-engineer products?

Deformulation is typically applied for product development and benchmarking, including competitor product analysis or to identify functional replacements for banned or obsolete components.

Deformulation is also useful for confirmation of product identity or production technique, which is especially important in litigation cases. Finally, batch-to-batch variations might be understood based on a comparative deformulation analysis.

How does AgfaLabs carry out deformulation?

AgfaLabs has successfully performed deformulation studies on hundreds of products and formulations, including many complex formulations with more than 20 functional components or multilayer-deposited coating.

Deformulation studies typically involve a large array of analytical techniques together with advanced extraction and separation methods. These allow for the identification and quantification of the components of a complex mixture or coating.

Our deformulation experts make use of all your additional information available on the material under investigation (such as the type of expected ingredients and details about the application) to conduct an efficient and to-the-point deformulation analysis.

Result: component identification

Depending on the purpose of the deformulation, a complete quantitative determination of all components in the product is required or a semi-quantitative identification of major and minor components might be sufficient.

In addition to the identification of the chemical class and function of components, their sourcing information (manufacturers and trade names) can also be provided. AgfaLabs even proposes alternative components for a certain chemical function in a formulation.

Typical components are binders or filler materials (polymers or resins), pigments and dyes, UV stabilizers, dispersants, activators and inhibitors, synergists, wetting agents, etc.

  • Specialty products: inks, offset printing plates, light and temperature sensitive coatings on films, multiple layer films.
  • Plastics and Polymers: PET, SAN , PP, PE, PMMA, PU, flexible and rigid PVC, copolymer and blends.
  • Adhesives: PSA (hot melt and water borne) and sealants (epoxy, PU or silicone)
  • Other: industrial detergents, cleaners and process solutions.

We can help you with product deformulation and component identification.

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