International Chemical Company


  • Spray and Immersion Testing
  • Humidity Cabinet Testing
  • Vibratory Testing
  • Pin and Vee Block Friction and Extreme Pressure (EP)
  • 4-Ball Wear and Extreme Pressure (EP)
  • Limiting Dome Height
  • Cast Iron Chip Corrosion Test
  • Aluminum Gassing
  • Oil Rejection and Separation
  • Stack Stain Test
  • High Temperature, Low Temperature and Freeze/Thaw Stability Tests
  • Specific Gravity and Pounds per Gallon
  • Flash Point
  • pH
  • Recirculating Foam Test
  • Viscosity
  • Bio-Stability
  • Emulsion and Solution Stability


International Chemical Company performs a comprehensive battery of tests before any of our extensively researched and developed manufacturer's chemicals are made available to the marketplace. The type of formulation, from drawing and stamping oils and lubricants, machining and grinding coolants, vibratory and burnishing compounds, spray and immersion cleaners, and rust inhibitors and corrosion protection to custom and miscellaneous formulations, dictates the tests each product must complete. We have been using some testing procedures since our founding in 1906, but along the way, and in conjunction with advances in both chemical and testing technologies, ICC has continued to improve our laboratory operations to guarantee only high-quality manufacturer's chemicals are produced.

ICC's testing equipment is also available for our customers' use to verify the consistent performance of our high-quality formulations. Together with select independent laboratories, we are able to instill confidence in our customers that all products manufactured by International Chemical Company will meet or exceed specific performance requirements.

The following laboratory tests, where applicable, are undertaken to determine the physical properties and performance capabilities of ICC's high-quality drawing and stamping oils and lubricants, machining and grinding coolants, vibratory and burnishing fluids, spray and immersion cleaners and rust inhibitors and preventatives:

Spray and Immersion Testing: This test is used to validate the effectiveness and performance of aqueous solutions including spray and immersion cleaners, conversion coatings and rust inhibitors. We are able to simulate operational conditions to coincide with or predate on-site and independent testing of a multitude of ICC's manufacturer's chemicals.

Humidity Cabinet Testing: Our humidity cabinet is used to determine and/or validate the expected rust and corrosion protection as provided by most of our manufacturer's chemicals: drawing and stamping oils and lubricants, machining and grinding coolants, vibratory and burnishing compounds, spray and immersion cleaners, and most importantly, rust inhibitors. Our testing devices usually operate according to the ASTM D1748 specifications: 120°F and 100% humidity. For the commonly-used automotive "Triple 100" specification (100 hours of rust and corrosion protection at 100°F and 100% humidity), the ASTM D2247 specifications are utilized. We take great pride in the excellent performance of our rust inhibitors and preventatives. Therefore, all researched and developed formulations are subjected to extremely harsh and repeated testing to guarantee their effectiveness and economical value.

Vibratory Testing: Vibratory testing is used to determine the effectiveness and performance capabilities of ICC's vibratory and burnishing compounds. Our vibratory bowls are capable of testing a variety of media types including ceramic, stainless steel and steel balls. Most components are immediately removed from the apparatus and shipped to our customers for inspection or are subjected to other tests including humidity cabinet testing to verify corrosion protection performance

Pin and Vee Block Friction and Extreme Pressure (EP): This test is designed to evaluate the wear and friction rates, as well as extreme pressure properties of metal-forming, drawing and stamping lubricants. The testing equipment rotates a ¼" diameter test pin against two ½" diameter vee blocks. The area of contact is established as load is applied via a mechanical gage by a ratchet wheel and eccentric arm.

4-Ball Wear and Extreme Pressure (EP): Load-wear index, last non-seizure load and weld point are all determined with this test. During a pre-determined duration of time, the testing equipment rotates a ½" diameter ball while in contact with three similar, stationary balls in the test cup. The contact surfaces are covered with the test lubricant while the load is applied. The test is complete at the point where the rotating ball fuses or "welds" to the three stationary balls. The load being applied at this point, in addition to the elapsed time, determines the load-wear index, final non-seizure load and weld point of a formulation such as a drawing and stamping lubricant.

Limiting Dome Height: The press performance of a metal-forming lubricant is determined by clamping test blanks over a hemispherical punch. The height of the drawn dome at the point of maximum applied load is the measure of formability due to the lubricant. This test is vital for determining the viability of drawing and stamping lubricants.

Cast Iron Chip Corrosion Test: This test is used to determine the relative iron corrosion protection properties of metal-forming lubricants such as drawing and stamping oils and lubricants, metalworking fluids like machining and grinding coolants, and especially rust inhibitors and preventatives. Standardized cast iron rust chips, as stipulated by ASTM specifications, are placed in a laboratory petri dish containing filter paper. Both the filter paper and cast iron chips are soaked with a water-soluble metalworking coolant, metal-forming lubricant, cleaner, or rust inhibitor and covered. After a pre-determined duration of time has passed, the rust chips are rinsed from the filter paper which is then inspected for rust spots. The size and quantity of residual spots determines the rust and corrosion protection of the fluid being tested.

Aluminum Gassing: Most commonly used when testing cleaners, this test involves the submersion of aluminum test pieces into aqueous cleaning solutions for the purposes of determining whether aluminum hydroxide is produced.

Oil Rejection and Separation: Most commonly used when testing cleaners and other aqueous solutions including synthetic drawing and stamping lubricants, machining and grinding coolants and rust inhibitors, this test measures the effectiveness of formulations to reject tramp oils to the bath surfaces for ease of removal and disposal. The propensity of aqueous solutions to separate from tramp oils allows for cleaner, longer-lasting aqueous solutions.

Stack Stain Test: Sandwiched metal components or Q-Panels are coated with various types of formulations including drawing and stamping oils and lubricants, machining and grinding coolants, vibratory and burnishing compounds and rust inhibitors to determine the effects of water contamination (usually for water-soluble products), high temperatures and metal-to-metal contact. This test is valuable for those operations that do not require a post-manufacture, aqueous cleaning process prior to short- to long-term storage and/or final packaging.

High Temperature, Low Temperature and Freeze/Thaw Stability Tests: For those manufacturer's chemicals that may be exposed to extreme temperatures during shipping, storage and/or manufacturing, this test is used to determine the points at which the formulation may begin to break down. The High Temperature Stability Test operates at 125°F. The Low Temperature Stability Test operates at 40°F. The Freeze/Thaw Stability Test operates at 15°F.

Specific Gravity and Pounds per Gallon: For liquid products, specific gravity is a ratio of density relative to water. This measurement helps to ensure that the correct ratio of raw materials is present within a given formulation. As with specific gravity, the ratio of pounds per gallon is also used to verify the correct volume of raw materials according to specific manufacturing formulas. The ratio of pounds per gallon is also used for powders.

Flash Point: The temperature at which a given material vaporizes to form an ignitable mixture when exposed to the air. Two different methods are employed by our technical staff to determine the empirical flash point of a given product: Cleveland Open Cup and Tag Closed Cup. In the open cup method, the formulation is deposited in an open cup, heated and exposed to an open flame. The flash point is determined by the temperature of the heated formulation when it vaporizes and ignites. The closed cup method usually yields lower flash points than does the open cup method. A product is deposited in a cup with a sealed lid. The device is then heated. A flame source is introduced through the lid, and the temperature at which the vapors ignite determines the flash point. The flash point is most commonly measured on manufacturer's chemicals such as rust preventative and metal-forming solvents, straight and soluble drawing and stamping oils, emulsion cleaners and mineral oil-based rust inhibitors and preventatives.

pH: This is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a chemical substance. The historical derivation of "pH" is surrounded by mystery. What is not disputed is the calculation to determine pH: the defined pH scale is a measurement of hydrogen ion activity and ranges from 0 (highly acidic) through 7 (neutral; pure water) to 14 (highly alkaline). The pH of a given solution will determine its performance within a specific application, operator friendliness and ease of disposal for the end user. Also to be considered is the fact that the pH scale is logarithmic. For example, an acidic substance with a pH of 3 is ten times more acidic than a substance with a pH of 4. The inverse is true for base, or alkaline substances. ICC formulates many of our aqueous formulations to exhibit relatively high pH levels in an effort to provide detergency for most operations, promoting cleaner and safer manufacturing environments.

Recirculating Foam Test: This test is used to determine the relative foaming properties of metalworking fluids and raw materials. This test is most applicable for those formulations that are subjected to high application pressures, low temperatures and soft water sources. The specific work instructions for the Recirculating Foam Test apply to all finished products and raw materials that are capable of generating foam in aqueous systems under specific operating conditions. These conditions include those experienced by aqueous, industrial spray and immersion cleaners, metalworking fluids such as machining and grinding coolants, metal-forming lubricants for drawing and high-speed stamping operations, vibratory and burnishing compounds, and aqueous rust inhibitors.

Viscosity: This measurement determines a fluid's resistance to flow freely. Viscosity is most commonly relied upon when establishing the compatibility of straight and soluble oils for drawing, stamping, machining and grinding operations. In some applications, the viscosity of a rust inhibitor may need to be considered for manufactured components being treated with evaporative solvents and straight or soluble oils. The three primary measurements for viscosity employed by our laboratory are cPs (centipoise), cSt (centistokes) and SUS (Saybolt Universal Seconds).

Bio-Stability: Bio-stability is the determination of how well a liquid or aqueous solution rejects biological and fungal growth. A foreign substance is introduced—or exposed to localized environmental conditions—and is observed for biological development. All ICC products are tested for bio-stability to guarantee the compatibility of a formulation with the operation for which it was developed. For most recirculating systems containing drawing and stamping oils and lubricants, machining and grinding coolants, and rust inhibitors, this information is crucial. Biological growth can and will adversely affect the performance of any operation and present health hazards to machine operators and employees.

Emulsion and Solution Stability: This determines how well the chemical components of a given formulation hold together when exposed to high temperatures, foreign substances and long periods of stagnation. For water-soluble and aqueous solutions, this test is critical. Solutions that experience "drop-out" of individual components of a formulation can and will adversely affect the performance of any operation, leading to catastrophic failures or dangerous conditions.

Metalworking Chemistry for All Operations