Deformulation and reverse engineering

Deformulation or reverse engineering is aimed at identifying all components of a particular system.  Based on the complexity of the material, a range of techniques may be used to identify and quantify its various constituents. 

The instrumentation available in Arkema laboratories permits detection and identification from trace levels to major fractions. Reverse engineering studies encompass identification of the matrix resin composition, as well as any fillers, stabilizers, pigments, and/or other additives. Products that can be deformulated span a diverse range, including pellets, sheet, films, fibers, composites, fabricated parts, paints, manufactured goods, coatings, latexes and adhesives.

Polymer molecule structure example

Processes used for deformulation

  • Polymer resin identity
  • Copolymers, blends or multilayer architectures
  • Decomposition products
  • Polymer molecular weight
  • Functional groups analysis
  • Residual monomer levels
  • Surfactants
  • Extenders


  • Plasticizers
  • Additives and fillers
  • Antioxidants
  • Thermal and UV stabilizers
  • Impact modifiers
  • Pigments and dyes
  • Wetting agents
  • Reinforcing fibers