MGA Research Corporation
MGA Research Facility


Chip Resistance Testing Now Online

They say that you can judge a person based on how they take care of their car. The first impression that one gets when looking at their vehicle is the outer paint. Day to day wear and tear on a car can chew up and spit out a paint job. Road debris causes the paint to chip on hoods, doors, side panels, etc. Automotive manufacturers are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the paint on your vehicle keeps its showroom shine for many years. Chip resistance testing does just that. It simulates road debris striking a nicely painted surface to make sure that the coating doesn't deteriorate.

Gravelometer/Chip Resistance testing is now online at MGA - South Carolina. Testing in accordance to SAE J400, MGA has brought online a gravelometer to test anything from small flat test panels to the larger finished parts. In essence, the gravelometer tester projects standardized road gravel by means of a controlled air blast. Testing is usually conducted at room temperature or at extreme cold.

For more information on MGA's Gravelometer/Chip Resistance testing, please contact Jennifer Hill ( or Mark Nowakowski ( at (864) 848-3088.

South Carolina Lab Adds Ash Content Capability to Scope

The ash content of a product is used to determine the amount of filler in a material. Using different amounts of filler can change the physical properties of a material. Glass fibers are a common filler used in plastics. Using glass filler in plastics cannot only change the properties, but can change the gloss and finish of the finished part. Testing for the amount of filler is an important Conformity of Production (COP) check to ensure that the production process is producing quality products. Performing these quality checks throughout the production process helps to ensure that the content is within the required tolerance.

Ash content testing is performed by drying the specimen and test crucible until the constant mass is achieved. Once the mass is verified, the specimen is placed in a crucible and then put in a muffle furnace at the specified test temperature. Once calcination is achieved, the remaining ash is weighed to determine the ash content. MGA currently has all the equipment needed to conduct this testing at our South Carolina facility. Our muffle furnace is capable of achieving temperatures up to 1100°C.

For more information regarding Ash Content or COP Testing, please contact Jennifer Hill at ( or by phone at (864) 848-3088. Please visit our website at: .

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Different types of foams are used in many of the products that we use every day. Foam products are often not seen out in the open, but play a very important role in our safety and well being. Common applications exist in many bumpers as an impact absorbing material, they can also be found in vehicle trunks, headliners and in all types of seat cushions. Foams are also used in many marine applications in order to keep the products afloat. These foams must be created to withstand various harsh conditions including being exposed to toxic chemicals.

JSP International, a valued customer of MGA, supplies APRRO EPP, ARPAK EPE and ARPEX xEPE to various companies who mold marine components. In an effort to verify their foam they will conduct development testing to validate the mechanical properties to ensure that it will withstand the chemicals and environmental conditions that their products will come into contact with.

A specific test that we have conducted on this type of foam was adapted by the Coast Guard. The test specification evaluates the deterioration and weakening of the foam products that are used in various marine floatation devices. This testing is outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) test procedure 183.110. This test standard evaluates the reduction in the buoyancy of the foam before and after it is introduced to the various chemicals that would be present in a real life situation such as oil, gasoline and bilge cleaner.

The CFR calls out for each sample to be tested per the ASTM D 2842 specification for the initial buoyancy of the sample. Each sample is then soaked in the specified chemicals for 30 continuous days. Following the soak exposure, each sample is subjected to another buoyancy test per the ASTM standard, and the change in buoyancy is noted. It is extremely important that the foam has less than a 5% buoyancy reduction once it has been exposed to these conditions.

For more information or questions regarding foam testing, please contact Natalee Small ( or Jennifer Hill ( at (864) 848-3088. Visit our website at

Conformity of Production - A Perfect Match!

"Quality is not an act, it is a habit," Aristotle. Many manufacturers agree with the famous Greek philosopher. Quality is something that every manufacturer strives for, whether it is in the automotive, aerospace, textile, or consumer product industries. Quality is the bottom line. Companies must be sure that their products conform to their initial design. Does the 10th, 1,000th, 1,000,000th product match the approved design? Quality affects virtually every aspect of the production process. Component suppliers have established thorough procedures to ensure that the supplied parts conform to the design. Conformity of Production (COP) checks the product to a given specification, performance, or other requirement to ensure that the production process is producing the part or assembly correctly. COP checks are done at regular, pre-defined intervals throughout the lifetime of a produced part.

Many automotive manufacturers produce cars in three basic versions; a left hand drive, right hand drive and a right hand drive version designed specifically for the US market. Around the world there are various legal requirements related to automobiles. In the US there are the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), while in Europe there are the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) regulations. With many of these requirements, the characteristics of a particular component will be the basis as to whether the part meets the legal specifications for a particular region of the world. This is where COP testing comes into effect. In order to maintain the appropriate level of quality and verify compliance to specific regulations, whether they are ECE, FMVSS, due-care, or strictly quality/functionality related, COP testing is often utilized. There are significant risks involved if COP testing is not completed or not conducted correctly which could include possible recalls, problems in the field, a lower supplier quality rating from the OEM, higher production cost due to non-conforming parts, etc.

The quality of finished parts is of critical importance. The bottom line is that consumers demand higher and higher levels of quality. There are many variables that could affect the quality of parts. Some of these include the quality of raw materials, equipment maintenance, new personnel at the plant, and other factors related to the production process. COP testing is utilized to help identify problems with the parts as quickly as possible, so that the root cause can be determined and corrective action is implemented to fix the problem.

MGA has many years of experience in COP testing. Examples of COP testing performed at our South Carolina location include airbag deployment, seat and seat belt anchorage, climatic, dimensional measurement verification, flammability, life cycle, suppression, and tensile. We work with our customers to quickly expedite the testing process so that your parts get tested rapidly and correctly, and out to the end manufacturer as quickly as possible. To aid a busy schedule, our shipping and receiving department is available for local pick-up and drop-off of your critical test samples.

For information regarding our COP testing capabilities, call (864) 848-3088 to speak to Jennifer Hill ( or Mark Nowakowski (

MGA South Carolina Testing Services

MGA's Greer, South Carolina facility was officially opened in August of 2008 and offers a wide range of services used to evaluate many different types of materials, products, etc. This lab, located right off of I-85 and near BMW's US Production Facility, offers first class, professional services combined with state-of-the-art facilities. Testing capabilities include Safety, Durability, Life Cycle, and Material testing. In addition, the lab can simulate many different types of environmental conditions, including extreme temperature/humidity, vibration, and corrosive environments. With an extensive array of capabilities, this facility results in a one-stop shop for automotive, aerospace, military, textile and other industries located in the region.


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