Creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) for routine rheology is an opportunity to improve efficiency, safety, quality and uniformity through written, step-by-step instructions. The SOP needs to ensure continuous quality in the results, even when untrained operators conduct tests. SOPs are also a place you want to be sure to comply with industry guidelines or governmental regulations if required. So how can you be sure you’re doing it well?
For routine rheological measurements in quality control (QC) or quality assurance (QA), a complete SOP not only describes the actual instrument operation but also includes the correct sample handling procedures before and data processing steps after measurement.
The technical features of a modern rheometer can help to minimize operator mistakes and provide consistent data quality. The control software, in particular, can be used to create automated procedures with clear step-by-step instructions and direct feedback in case of incorrect operation. Ideally the rheological measurement should end with a decisive assessment of the sample. The necessary data evaluation, as well as the criteria for ‘pass or fail,’ should be included in the test procedure without the need for the operator to perform any additional steps.
This whitepaper describes the development of an effective and complete SOP for rheological measurements in QC including:
- Identifying the correct measuring geometry for different materials and test conditions
- Development of rheological procedures and the prevention of operator mistakes
- Data evaluation and the establishment of QC criteria
- Correct sample preparation and filling
- Automatic creation of measurement reports and data storage
- Software tool for user management