Smooth-On Quality Control Testing
Smooth-On has an extensive quality control program that tests the quality of incoming raw materials. Our raw materials are delivered to us in large tanker cars. Material cannot be off loaded from delivery tankers unless they are tested and meet our quality control standards. If it does not pass our incoming quality control testing, the material is refused and trucked back to the manufacturer.
We then test each batch of material while the batch is being blended in our large mixing vessels (work in process testing).
Finally, the material is tested a final time before being dispensed into packaging containers.
Probability of Defective Material
It is extremely rare that a material makes it past our quality control laboratory and is shipped to end users. People often believe that material that did not work as they expected is defective. User error, material incompatibility, cure inhibition and other non-material related variables are usually the cause.
Smooth-On makes millions of pounds / kgs. of silicones, urethanes, epoxies, polysulfides, release agents and other materials every year. Our batch sizes can be as large as 30,000 lbs. / 13,600 kgs. and the material is packed into tote units, drum units, 5 gallon units, one gallon units and trial units.
Thousands of units from a single batch are shipped to customers all over the world. If, in the rare event, a material is defective and is shipped from our factory, we hear complaints from hundreds of customers in a short period of time.
We then launch an investigation to verify that the material in question is defective. If confirmed to be defective, we make every effort to trace shipments and contact recipients who may have received this material. We will then make arrangements to replace the material.
What You Can Do To Verify If A Material Is Performing Normally . . .
1. Make sure you have fresh / new material. Material that is beyond shelf life or has been opened may not perform properly.
2. Re-read the technical bulletin. Make sure you know the correct mix ratio, working time, etc. for the material. Make sure the material is at room temperature (73 F / 23 C) and you are in a low humidity environment (less than 50% RH). Pre-mix both Parts A & B individually as directed by the technical bulletin.
3. Carefully measure, mix and dispense at least 100 grams total of material into a new, clean plastic cup and allow material to fully cure as directed by the technical bulletin. If the material cures in the cup, but is not curing against your model, in the mold or against a surface, the problem is not the material. You can then visit the FAQ section to help trouble shoot the cause of your problem.
If material is partially cured in the cup, repeat test making sure that the material is at room temperature and you mix as directed by the technical bulletin. Partially cured material is often a symptom of a cold environment and/or insufficient mixing.
If, after testing, you suspect that a material is defective. . .
You can contact Smooth-On either by phone or e-mail.
E-Mail; send an e-mail to the Smooth-On Technical Service Department. Provide the name of the product, the size container, when you purchased it, where you purchased it and the lot numbers provided on the product labels or outside of the box indicating "Lot #".
After receiving your information, what does Smooth-On do?
First, we check our "customer complaint log". If we see at least 3 complaints about the same product and lot number, we automatically test retained material that we store at Smooth-On for a period of 1 year after a batch of material is made and shipped. If confirmed to be defective, we make every effort to trace shipments and contact recipients who may have received this material. We will then make arrangements to replace the material.
If we have had fewer than 3 complaints about a product, we will discuss your processing with you to try to determine a cause for material not performing as expected. Part of the trouble shooting process may include asking you to e-mail images of your project to us, send us your cured material or send us the unused portion of the unit in question for us to test. We will do our best to make you successful with our materials.
Packaging Problems & Issues – Product received that is damaged in transit, exhibiting leaking, etc., needs to be reported within three business days of receipt of material to the seller that you bought the material from.