The need for testing in the automotive and aerospace industries can range from validating previous designs to discovering new technologies through research and development. MGA’s ability to understand the motivations behind customer’s testing needs allows for a streamlined approach to the overall testing process. Having a clearer perspective of the intended purpose of a customer’s testing program poises MGA to accommodate and service the specific test plan with a higher degree of effectiveness.

In the world of material testing, categorizing testing as either Functional or Aesthetic is an effective delineation of the motivations behind a testing program. Functional testing would be concerned with the material’s behavior and performance under certain conditions, whereas Aesthetic testing would be concerned with the material’s ability to maintain its appearance under certain conditions. This compartmentalization promotes a deeper understanding of the testing program and can lead to a more optimized testing experience through emphasizing performance requirements, catering to an urgency of testing, or heightened observations of material behavior.


Testing that focuses on the functionality of a sample will likely be more geared towards the inherent physical properties of said sample; characteristics such as max load, stress/strain, and burn rate are some common examples. Providing data for these properties helps assist our customers in the development and optimization of the functionality of their products. Listed below are many of MGA’s capabilities for Functional Testing:

Testing Equipment Functional Characteristics
Instron UTM Max Load, Tensile, Elongation, Shear, Flex
Atlas HMV Flammability Burn Rate
Chemical Resistance Reactivity (Blistering, Cracking, Etc.)
Instron CEAST 9050 Pendulum Impact Energy Dissipation during Fracture
Environmental Chambers Equipment Functionality under Extreme Conditions


Aesthetic testing is generally concerned with a more subjective and visual assessment of samples; color, surface quality (scratches, cracks, etc.), dimensional stability (warping, delamination, etc.) are some common examples. It is imperative that a product not only performs its functionality, but that it also maintains its quality over time during its use. While most functional testing will involve some aesthetic assessment as well, MGA is capable of delivering highly detailed data concerning only the aesthetic characteristics of a given sample. Listed below are many of our current capabilities for Aesthetic Testing:

Testing Equipment Aesthetic Characteristics
Spectrophotometer L*, a*, b*,  ▲E
Xenon Accelerated Weathering Resistance to Temperature, Humidity, Irradiance
Glossmeter Gloss Values, % Reflectance
Haze Meter Haze
Chemical Resistance Cloudiness, Fading, Staining
Taber Abraser Wear over Time

MGA’s ability to provide data for the functionality and visual quality of its testing samples is necessary in the efforts to meet the testing needs of its customers as well as produce quality data. It is always on the forefront of MGA’s leadership to assist our customers in the development of products in the automotive and aerospace industry, whether functional, aesthetic, or more. With capabilities available in South Carolina, California, Texas, and Ontario, our ability to handle high volumes and tight deadlines is unmatched. In fact, recent expansion in our Texas and Ontario laboratories have added capabilities such as Xenon, cyclic corrosion, and much more.

Functional vs aesthetic

Our expansion efforts in both locations and services offered, have allowed us to provide support to our customers in key markets beyond the continental U.S. (I.e. Canada and Mexico). With decades of experience, our strong technical background is a vital tool to our customer’s validation process. As we continue to grow, we look forward to providing further assistant to this growing industry demand.