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The Problem: A major US paper manufacturer was finding recurring instances of red streaks on a particular lot of paper. Production and sale of this lot could not proceed until the source of the contamination was identified. The scientists at SGS-IPS Testing were asked to identify the contaminant in order to enable the manufacturer to identify the source and remedy the issue.
The Analysis: The client assumed that the particles in the streak had an organic carrier. When Infrared Spectroscopy of a solvent extract did not find anything, the material was examined in greater detail by light and electron microscopy and Energy dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). The streak proved to be composed of a mixture of very fine particles residing on the surface of the paper. Several of the red particles were analyzed by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) and were identified as iron oxide (rust).
The Conclusion: With the contaminant revealed by the SGS-IPS analysis, the issue was able to be identified as one of general housekeeping on the part of the manufacturer.