Independent Testing & Evaluation

UKAS accredited lab with state-of-the-art technology

Helping you to solve your paint & coatings challenges

We provide a comprehensive range of independent testing and evaluation services to ensure that our clients’ paints, coatings and inks meet the highest standards of quality, performance, and durability. Our UKAS accredited laboratory is equipped with the latest technology, allowing us to conduct a wide range of pre- and post-application tests on various substrates in accordance with global standards such as BS, ISO, ASTM, and DIN.

Our experienced technical staff use state-of-the-art equipment such as controlled atmosphere rooms and chambers, accelerated weathering equipment, exterior exposure sites, corrosion test cabinets, specialised coating industry apparatus and viscometers/rheometers, to conduct tests measuring various properties, including resistance to environmental factors, abrasion resistance, adhesion, impact resistance, surface appearance (colour & gloss), application properties and water permeability.

We’ll provide you with a clear picture of the root causes of your manufacturing & product use issues and insightful data about your paint’s composition, so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed. As well as establishing the cause, our aim is to provide a solution to these problems, and we’ll work with you to provide a comprehensive understanding of your product’s performance, providing expert opinions and advice.


Find out more about our testing & evaluation services


Ecolabel Accreditation

We understand the importance of environmental sustainability and the role it plays in today’s market. Our team of experts can guide you through the entire process of obtaining Ecolabel Accreditation, from testing to preparing your dossier. We ensure that your products meet the strict criteria required for certification and provide you with the necessary documentation to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability.


Our paint analysis expertise

With a comprehensive suite of paint analysis services to help you establish the reasons behind problems in manufacturing and product use, we have particular expertise in the analysis of substrates, raw materials, fully formulated coatings, multi-layer coating systems, and fibrous & particulate contaminants.

Raw Material Evaluation

At PRA, we understand that in today's global marketplace, coatings manufacturers face the challenge of sourcing raw materials from a vast array of suppliers worldwide. While this offers a tremendous opportunity for variety and cost savings, it also presents risks of unknown quality and regulatory compliance. Our independent raw material evaluation service helps you ensure the quality of the desired constituents and regulatory compliance, providing greater control over your product's properties.

Multi-Layer Coating System Analysis

A correctly applied paint system, e.g. a primer-undercoat-gloss, will have the correct components applied in the right order at the appropriate film thicknesses. With nothing more than a thumbnail-sized paint flake, we can identify and troubleshoot issues with the chemical compatibility between different layers of paint systems, the mechanical properties of each layer in relation to their intended purpose, and the chemical stability of each layer under varying environmental conditions.

Substrate Analysis

Providing detailed insights into the surface chemistry and topography of substrates, and the performance and service life of coatings applied to them, we can assist with analyses such as identifying preservatives in treated timber and pre-treatments in metal, and detecting surface contaminants. Whether you require testing for research & development, quality control, or failure analysis, we can provide customised solutions utilising techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), attenuated total reflectance (ATR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Fully Formulated Coatings

We can analyse paint and inks both pre- and post-application, including detecting whether paint samples have a common origin using analytical fingerprinting techniques such as FTIR, GC-MS & elemental analysis. In addition, we can perform qualitative analysis to establish the nature of the solvents, resins and pigments presents, or undertake a full quantitative analysis of a coating to identify all components and their relative proportions within a coating, especially useful for matching historic paints which are no longer made. However, we always check if a full analysis is required or whether a modern paint of the same colour would suffice, which we can create with our colour matching service.

Resistance to Microbial Attack

Our comprehensive assessments determine a coating's susceptibility to in-can spoilage, fungal or algal growth, and other forms of microbial contamination, analysing whether your coating will resist degradation and maintain its integrity over time. Our results deliver the insights you need to identify suitable preservatives to maximise microbial resistance, in addition to providing valuable information for regulatory compliance, product development, and marketing.

Fibrous & Particulate Contaminants

We use advanced analytical techniques to detect and quantify any fibrous or particulate contaminants present in your paint, with methods sensitive enough to detect even the smallest quantity of solid compounds for the most accurate and comprehensive analysis possible. Whether you're looking to identify hazardous materials, improve quality control processes, or simply gain a better understanding of your coating's properties, we're here to help.

Typical tests we undertake

Click on the headings below to see a list of the most common tests we undertake within our independent paint & coatings testing and evaluation services. If the test you are looking for is not listed here please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements, as we have many additional tests available.

Corrosion ResistanceAssessment of BlisteringISO 4628-2BS 3900-H2
Corrosion ResistanceAssessment of Corrosion from a ScribeISO 4628-8
Corrosion ResistanceAssessment of RustingISO 4628-3BS 3900-H3
Corrosion ResistanceContinuous Salt SprayISO 9227
ISO 7253
ISO 12944-6
ASTM B117BS 3900-F4
BS 3900-F12
Corrosion ResistanceCyclic ProhesionISO 11997-2ASTM D5894
Corrosion ResistanceCyclic Salt SprayISO 11997-2
ISO 12944-6
BS EN 60068-2-52IEC 68-2-52
Corrosion ResistanceSulfur DioxideISO 3231
ISO 22479
BS 3900-F8DIN 50018
Mechanical PropertiesAbrasion ResistanceISO 7784-1
ISO 7784-2
ASTM D4060BS 3900-E14
BS 3900-E15
Mechanical PropertiesAdhesion (Cross-Cut)ISO 2409BS 3900-E6
Mechanical PropertiesAdhesion (Pull-Off)ISO 4624BS EN 24624
Mechanical PropertiesCupping ResistanceISO 1520BS 3900-E4
Mechanical PropertiesFilm ThicknessISO 2808BS 3900-C5
Mechanical PropertiesFlexibilityISO 1519
ISO 6860
ASTM D522BS 3900-E1
BS 3900-E11
Mechanical PropertiesHardnessIS 12137-1
ISO 1518
ISO 1522
ISO 2815
ISO 15184
ASTM D3363BS 3900-E2
BS 3900-E5
BS 3900-E9
BS 3900-E17
BS 3900-E19
Mechanical PropertiesImpact ResistanceISO 6272-1
Mechanical PropertiesSurface Drying TimeISO 1517ASTM D1640/1640M
Mechanical PropertiesThrough Drying TimeISO 9117BS 3900-C3
Optical PropertiesBlacknessISO 18314-3
Optical PropertiesColour (Instrumental)ISO 7724-2
ISO 18314-1
BS 3900-D1
BS 3900-D8
Optical PropertiesColour Comparison (Visual)ISO 3668
Optical PropertiesGlossISO 2813BS 3900-D5
Optical PropertiesHiding PowerISO 6504-1
ISO 6504-3
BS 3900-D7
BS 3900-D11
Optical PropertiesOpacityISO 3814BS 3900-D4
Optical PropertiesTinting StrengthISO 18314-2
Optical PropertiesWhiteness and YellownessISO 18314-3ASTM E313
Weathering & DurabilityArtificial Weathering Using a Fluorescent Lamp SourceISO 16474-3
ISO 11507
ISO 927-6
ASTM D4587
BS 3900-F16
Weathering & DurabilityArtificial Weathering Using a Xenon Arc SourceISO 16474-2
ISO 11341
ISO 12040
Weathering & DurabilityAssessment of BlisteringISO 4628-2BS 3900-H2
Weathering & DurabilityAssessment of ChalkingISO 4628-6BS 3900-H6
Weathering & DurabilityAssessment of CrackingISO 4628-4BS 3900-H4
Weathering & DurabilityAssessment of FlakingISO 4628-5BS 3900-H5
Weathering & DurabilityAssessment of Lightfastness
Weathering & DurabilityControlled Temperature and Humidity Exposure
Weathering & DurabilityHumidityISO 6270ASTM D2247BS 3900-F2
BS 3900-F9
Weathering & DurabilityNatural WeatheringISO 2810
Weathering & DurabilityResistance to LiquidsISO 2814-1
ISO 2814-2
ISO 2814-3
ISO 2814-4
Weathering & DurabilityResistance to Temperature ChangeASTM D1211
Weathering & DurabilityWater Vapour PermeabilityISO 7783
Weathering & DurabilityWater PermeabilityBS EN 1062-3
Wet Paint TestsApplication Properties and Appearance
Wet Paint TestsContact AngleISO 19403-2
Wet Paint TestsFreeze/Thaw ResistanceASTM D2243
Wet Paint TestsIn-Can StabilityASTM D1849
Wet Paint TestsLevellingASTM D4062
Wet Paint TestsOil AbsorptionISO 787-5ASTM D281
ASTM D1483
Wet Paint TestsParticle Size Distribution
Wet Paint TestspH
Wet Paint TestsRheologyISO 3219-1
ISO 3219-2
Wet Paint TestsSag ResistanceISO 16862
Wet Paint TestsIn-Can PropertiesISO 1513BS 3900-A2
Wet Paint TestsDetermination of Spreading RateISO 7254BS 3900-A16
Wet Paint TestsDensityISO 2811-1
ISO 2811-4
BS 3900-A19
BS 3900-A22
Wet Paint TestsNon-Volatile MatterISO 321BS 3900-B18
Wet Paint TestsFineness of GrindISO 1524BS 3900-C6EN 21524
Wet Paint TestsViscosityISO 2431
ISO 2884-1
ISO 2884-2
ASTM D2196
ASTM D1200
ASTM D4241
BS 3900 A6
BS 3900 A7-1
BS 3900 A7-2
DIN 53211

Ensure your paints, coatings & inks meet the highest standards

Get accurate results with independent testing

Whether you’re looking to test a new product, troubleshoot an existing one, or simply ensure that your products meet the highest standards of quality and performance, we’re have the expertise to help. From single tests to a comprehensive testing program, contact the PRA team today to learn more about how we can help you meet your testing and evaluation needs.