Tucson Laboratory - Sample Submissions

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Chain of Custody Form (Analytical Request Form)

Each sample must be accompanied by a Chain of Custody form (same as the previous Analytical Request form) for proper correspondence. Please complete all information possible. For EXPRESS delivery, send your samples to our street address:

Columbia Analytical Services, 3860 S. Palo Verde Road, Suite 302, Tucson, AZ 85714

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Sample Size

PLEASE SEND SUFFICIENT QUANTITY FOR ALL THE ANALYSES YOU ARE REQUESTING. For CHN analysis and most other elements a minimum of 2-3 mg of TRANSFERABLE sample is needed for each test for percentages greater than 5 percent. For determination of metals and halogens, 4-5 mg are needed for percentages of 5 percent or more. For any element which is present in less than 5 percent, proportionately greater amounts of sample are required. Several grams of sample are required for trace level work in the ppm range.  Fuel testing requires substantially more sample (2 to 5 g for each analysis).

For samples which tend to be electrostatic, it is advisable to send more than the levels indicated above. These samples tend to be difficult to transfer. Gummy solids and viscous oils will wet the walls of the container. These materials must be supplied in such quantity that 3 mg is TRANSFERABLE for analysis. For mobile liquids, there must be sufficient sample so that 2-3 µl is available for transfer by capillary pipet.

In nearly half of all samples received, there is insufficient sample for accurate work (less than 1 mg transferable sample). When there is less than 1 mg, analysis will be carried out with a note regarding expected accuracy.

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Sample Quality

Solid samples must be homogeneous. Non-crystalline material should be finely ground. Samples should be free of heterogeneous contaminants such as lint and filter fiber.

Samples must be free of extraneous solvent.  For oils which have been purified by column or thin layer chromatography, solvents may be completely removed only by volatilization (molecular distillation still, or Kugelrohr).  If this is not possible, suitable vacuum drying will remove most of the solvent. The small quantity of remaining solvent is least disruptive if the elemental composition is closely similar to that of the sample. Final concentration should be with such solvent.

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Sample Packaging

Solids are best submitted in clean screw-cap vials with caps tight and/or taped in order to prevent loss during shipment.  Submittal in folded foil or quality glazed paper is acceptable but not preferred.  Viscous liquids or resins are best submitted in glass vials with inert cap liners.  Volatile liquids or air-sensitive samples are stable only in sealed glass ampoules or tubes.  A screw-cap vial sealed under nitrogen, placed with padding inside a second outer container, will help prevent air leakage.  All glass containers should be well padded in suitable packaging and prevented from touching any outer container.  Sending glass or any containers in envelopes is not advised.

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Quality Control

Columbia Analytical maintains a full range of Organic Analytical Standard (OAS), petroleum and AA standards traceable to NIST.  Most results are calibrated to at least two standards.  Individual results are checked by means of random duplicates.  All analytical data is reviewed and approved by the lab director or senior analyst before being released.

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Reporting of Results

Certificates of analysis are created after final approval of the analytical data.  The certificates include client and project information, sample ID, lab number, analytical data, remarks about the samples or analyses, and approval signature.  Certificates of analyses are created as a .PDF file and emailed to the client.  Hard copies are mailed at client's request.  Quality control summaries are also available at a 10 percent surcharge.

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Sample Return

Samples will be returned by U.S. Mail at a charge of $10 per lot, upon request.

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Contact Information

3860 S. Palo Verde Road, Suite 302
Tucson, AZ 85714

520.573.1063 (fax)

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Ralph Poulsen, Laboratory Manager

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