FAQ: Our company is involved in roof inspection project. As a part of the project we need to verify what kind of tar was used there? Can you assist?

Answer: Hello, Thank you for your request. LCS Laboratory Inc. , offers identification tests for Coal Tar in roofing tar insulation. Both Coal Tar and Oil Tar (produced from mineral oil), are used as industrial roofing materials. The tars look very much alike but have different chemical properties. Coal tar is rich on Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and other chemicals typically identified as hazardous. Oil Tar may also contain PAH, but usually in much lower quantities.Coal tar removal

Such difference in chemical composition between the two tars is linked to extreme temperature employed in Coal Tar Production. Temperature of coal oven can vary from 1100°C to 1700°C. At this temperature, volatile organic compounds undergo a chain of chemical transformations that eventually leads to formation of heavy PAH molecules, then to even heavier asphaltens and eventually to graphite or soot.

Oil Tar is distilled from natural oil at lower temperature of 450°C – 600°C, which leads to much lower concentration of PAH, and therefore, to a much safer product.

We offer 3 tests for testing of roof tar:

1. Coal tar Solubility, Does it match Coal Tar Definition set in ASTM

2. Screening test for PAH’s (positive/negative) by thin layer chromatography.

3. Concentration of PAH’s in coal tar extract.

To order the test, please send us a small sample piece (2″ by 2″) of roofing material. Try to select pieces with excessive amount of tar. Use the sample submission form to describe your  samples and specify a test you require. Provide your contact information with email address and a desirable turnaround time. Please call us to discuss your project.

Thank you again